Friday, August 26, 2011

On the Set

I got to lurk around the set of King’s Faith – a feature length motion picture being shot in and around Rochester, NY - for a day, watching Director Nick DiBella and his crew work. Accent on work. These people moved like a hurricane was in the forecast. Which, in a way, it was. Outdoor scenes were scheduled while hurricane Irene built up steam in the Atlantic. Rain isn’t even the primary problem. Mottled cloud cover can be just as debilitating, throwing down ever-changing shadows. Consistency, I learned, is key.

This is something every writer knows. Consistency in your chosen grammar, tone, characterization, whatever rules you’ve given your world, basic logic – it’s all critical to a clean reading experience. You never want the audience to see your seams.

Unlike the author, the director can’t easily go back and fix things. Do-overs are not just costly, in many cases they’re quite impossible. Every moment, no mater how much control you have, is unique.

I wonder if directors learn to cherish moments and lead happier, more efficient lives? Are they more fulfilled than writers? Or jealous of the chance to go back and fix things right.

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