2009 Directors Special Report: Lance Acord

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Credit: Matt Nettheim
What's the best lesson you've learned about directing?
It's hard to say what the best lesson is. I hope to learn something from every shoot. I think one would be to never finalize a decision for the sake of convenience. The anxiety this approach creates can be harnessed into a positive force. It seems more and more commercial production gets shoved into an incredibly tight box. For me good ideas just get better when given time to evolve. Every decision is relative to others you will make and some are best made only when the whole shoot has begun to take shape. So many factors are subject to change that often the best decisions will make themselves for you.

What do you wish you had known when you were just starting out as a director?

Embrace a certain level of chaos. Be willing to change things and trust your instincts on set. For me the shoot itself remains the most crucial part of the creative process. Film what you have planned but also strive for something transformative. Be mindful and present and don't let the pressure of the day push you out of a creative head space. Remain fluid and if it's not working after a few takes switch it up. There is nothing worse than figuring out how a shot might have been better in the car on your way home or in the edit room.

Watch some of Lance Acord's spots

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