“Sorry that’s not in our budget.” Those words are spoken more often than we want to hear. So if there is one thing I have learned more than anything else over the last year it’s learning how to compromise. We always hear about the art of filmmaking, and to me part of that art is the art of compromise.
No matter how small or big our budget is, we as filmmakers never get everything we envisioned. Even in a world of a 250 million dollar budget. The perfect actor can’t accept because of schedule conflicts. Can’t get the perfect location because of law restrictions. Can’t create the scene because of technology limitations. Can’t get the perfect shot envisioned because of location or equipment constraints. So now what? Cancel the film? Of course not! The point is we need to make compromises.
There is a definition of compromise I really think makes the point. “Accept standards that are lower than is desirable.” If we just accept there is no genie granting us every wish we want, we avoid setting ourselves up for disappointment and failure. When we know we will need to make compromises, we can focus our attention on where to make them. For instance, you now have the script in your hands. Find the most critical scenes. Find the most emotional scene. Find the scene which has the biggest impact on the story. Now with those scenes give it everything you have. Fight for those scenes and explain why you are fighting. Now with the other scenes learn to let go. However it’s not to the point of producing something horrible rather it’s learning to say to yourself it doesn’t have to be perfect.
If we know going into production we have to make compromises and make them ahead of time we just may have a better film in the end.