“I remember on From Dust to Dawn (1996) the special effects guys put too much fire in the explosion, and the actors came running out of the building—and in the movie you see the building blow up at the end and the fireball just engulfed the whole set. And that was the first shot. We still needed lots of other stuff to shoot with it. Everyone’s freaking out, the production designer is crying because there goes all their work. And my assistant director came over and goes, ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ And I said, ‘It looks good the way it is. It’s all charred. Let’s just keep shooting, and do the repairs we need for exterior shots next week. But let’s keep shooting.’ Sometimes you use those gifts, because nothing ever goes according to plan. Sometimes when I hear new filmmakers talk, they talk all down about their film—’Oh, nothing worked” and ‘It was a disappointment’—and they don’t realize that’s the job. The job is nothing is ever going to work at all. And you go, ‘How can I turn that in a way to turn it into a positive?’ And you get something much better than if you had all the time and money in the world.”
Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez
Interview with Tim Ferriss
P.S. Some day I’ll do a post on “happy accidents” that various filmmakers have talked about that occurred while making their films. (Things that didn’t go as planned but worked better than the original plan.) But one of the most famous is when the mechanical shark in Jaws had numerous malfunctions during filming. And when it did work, on extended shots, the shark looked fake. So the film’s editor, Verna Fields, used the shark less than planned in the edit—and quick cuts when we do see the shark— creating more mystery and suspense. Fields won an Oscar for her editing on Jaws.