Something I've learned from shooting the trailer for “Walking Apocalypse” and from the unfinished film, “The Devil of the Desert Sands,” is just how much of a collaborative effort filmmaking is.
The script never, ever gets translated perfectly to the screen. And this isn't a bad thing, because actors and crew often have ideas that improve the scene, whether it's dialogue, action, framing or something else. As a director, you have to learn to listen and decide objectively. I have told many people that my screenplays are not Commandants. They are not chiseled-in-stone and immutable. If someone has an idea or suggestion, I might not always agree with it or use it, but I will always listen.
Paul Broussard made suggestions that improved a scene he wasn't even acting in, which shows Paul's professionalism and interest in the film being the best it can be. Brian Greenway was coming up with better ways of doing things every day we shot. Amanda Trudell kept us on track and on target. Jon Rowland made sound and lighting suggestions that enhanced scenes or avoided problems.
The actors were great, too. They took direction very well and asked questions to make sure they understood the scene that was being shot, and they were never satisfied until it was just right.
It takes many creative talents to make a movie a reality. Egos need to be kept in check, because the film product is not enhanced by having one person run roughshod over everyone else and refusing to consider other opinions and options. I worked with a great cast and crew and I'm looking forward to working with them again when we shoot the feature in the Spring of 2014.
David Higgins & Brian G. Walsh in a scene from "The Devil of the Desert Sands."