Art From Limitations
i will always more to learn regarding orson welles' suggestion, "the enemy of art is the absence of limitations". henry jaglom, a film creator and longtime friend of welles', describes what it means to him in an Indie World interview, from which the following is an excerpt:
iW: So tell me then about the changes in this kind of expansive location shooting?
Jaglom: It's not expansive and it's hardly a change -- it's still basically a lunch on a picture. What it is... is it frees you from a certain kind of pressure and you could have some luxuries, it doesn't effect the kind of filmmaking very much. It just gives you time to choose locations, to travel, to do a film with more exteriors. The final thing about acting is the same, the final thing about getting emotions on the screen... The thing that Orson said to me that's over my editing machine here where I'm sitting is, "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations" which he told me over lunch. And that's the key. If you have no limitations, economically, or time-wise or money-wise, you're not going to make art, you're going to throw money at a problem, you're going to throw technology, you're going to find some solution that you can just buy. If you don't have the money, if you don't have the time, you're going to be forced to make a creative solution to the problem, and I love that. That forces me to make films. 4 million still is in that category, it still forces you to make films, creatively, rather than in some kind of technological or committee oriented way.
iW: So with that budget, what limitations did you come up against?
Jaglom: There are always the limitations of time and money. I need another day on the White Cliffs of Dover, because I have only one day scheduled and it's overcast. How does it change the story if it's overcast? The mood has to be different. I'm forced to find a way to creatively do that. It doesn't change anything really. In terms of that truth of what Orson said holds -- the enemy of art is the absence of limitations -- therefore it's good to have limitations. You're supposed to embrace the limitations. And use them to create solutions that are artistic rather than economic.