Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video on the importance of embracing accidents during the filmmaking process.
There’s an old joke that goes: if you want to make God laugh, make a plan. This feels especially appropriate when it comes to movie-making. With so many deadlines, moving parts, and hands-on deck, it’s almost certain that, eventually, something will go wrong. The fact that movies are helmed by controlling creatives whose job-title is one muddled syllable away from “dictator” makes this inevitability for error especially delicious.
It also makes for some particularly compelling contradictions, such as known-control freak Stanley Kubrick — arguably cinema’s preeminent perfectionist — allowing for planned improvised takes. Which are exactly what they sound like: takes where actors go off-script on purpose.
Indeed, this hard-learned balance between good planning and unexpected opportunities is one of the essential lessons of filmmaking. Without a degree of flexibility (and rolling cameras), we wouldn’t have the evocative splattering squib burst in Children of Men, the authentic reaction to Alien‘s inaugural chest-burst, or Midnight Cowboy‘s infamous, oft-quoted “hey, I’m walking here!”
As in life, on a film set there is an innate desire to control things. Learning to loosen up, know what you need, and stay open to moments of discovery is not easy, but it can lead to magic.
Watch “Embracing Accidents“: