14: "Best Laid Plans"

Here's a famously true adage:

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." - Robert Burns

Here's another, maybe lesser known, but just a true:

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

It's always amazed me how the universe just works.  It's like one big Rube Goldberg machine.  But unlike Rube's contraptions, if there is an mistake or an accident then the universe adjusts and resets.  And so do we, somehow.  You might plan a career move or some kind elaborate strategic plan to get something you want at work or at home.  And the one thing we never plan for is a surprise!  Which is completely insane because surprises always happen!  Things pretty much never ever go the way we imagine it.  Some kind of slight redirection, at very least, is bound to happen.

After 14 films, I've come to apply this to filmmaking.  Letting go of the plan, or even completely eliminating a plan, and letting accidents shape how the film is made.  Filmmakers can easily fall into this M.O. of having to have a strict, rigid plan.  And when things don't go according to that plan, it can be a disaster.  Which is really strange because, in live action filmmaking, you have to concede to the elements more often than not.

Here's a great video by Rocket Jump Film School about "Embracing Accidents":


Most of the work on this one was, coincidentally enough, in the planning!  I spent two days working out a Rube Goldberg-type contraption.  The real challenge here was that I had to think of it in terms of lines and circles as opposed to real items.  That limitation proved to be helpful in keeping this simple:

I also challenged myself to make a film under the following conditions:

  • Use a color palette I never, or rarely, use.

  • Use simple elements in a complex set of events.

  • Create a dissatisfying ending.

I also pulled from a variety of sources for this film and mashed them together:

Thanks for reading!