Times A-wastin’

21 12 2007

Actor Tom Kiesche, in his entry on the Backstage Unscripted blog, talks about the value of perspective in shooting. He is talking about an actor who has ten minute discussions before each set-up and how that actually took a day out of the shooting schedule for the 15 day shoot on a movie he is acting in. An example:

Let’s play math… Say someone requires 10 minutes of discussion at least three times a day, three times more than other actors playing that same role would require… In 15 days that one person has “wasted” nearly 8 hours of shooting time… And when that individual’s discussions often require new set ups or lighting adjustments, those 10 minutes, typically turn into 20, 30 or 40 minutes… So, one 10 minute, one 20 minute, and one 40 minute each day… For 15 days… Well, that’s over 15 hours of shooting time! One ass, I mean actor, just turned a 15 day shoot into a 14 day shoot. And where we really do need to take care of ourselves as artists, and sometimes it really does serve a project to stop and ask a logical question… Sometimes you just have to trust those behind the monitors and just stand where they want you to stand, wear what they want you to wear, and use your creativity to make it work for your character. And that’s important, YOUR CHARACTER.

This is one of the truisms of filmmaking. Everyone I know in film says the same thing — it’s all about collaboration. But some of us have more trouble giving up our points of view than others. Kiesche is absolutely correct — it’s best to have perspective. Not every fight is worth fighting. Not every point of view I have has the same weight. Sure, if I were working on something completely by myself (a photograph, a short story…) then I could spend as much time as I wanted to get it to the place that I thought was right. But the amazing thing about collaboration is how often it shows us that our ideas aren’t always the best ones. In fact, good collaboration shows us that the best ideas can’t come unless they are bounced off other people and grow.

I was told that the Greeks described the process this way: thesis –> antithesis –> synthesis. In other words, a combination of good ideas makes the resultant idea better than either of the individual ones.

And that, my friends, is one reason I like filmmaking. We have to work collaboratively. It doesn’t really work any other way. Not all of us are Stan Brakhage doing DOG STAR MAN (and there are many people who are happy about that). We create films better with people who have better expertise in specific areas that we don’t excel in. And simply having another creative person there to bounce our ideas off of, makes our ideas better.

Powered by ScribeFire.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: