I was just reading this interview with Don Sylvester about "Knight and Day." In it he says that the schedule was so tight that they were cutting effects on scenes that were still being shot?! I know I have a short turn around on some projects, but that just seems ridiculous, at least mine are typically locked or at least rough cut.

Now, regardless of how it came to this, it seems universal that budgets are getting squeezed tighter, schedules are getting more compressed, and expectations continue to rise in an attempt to out-do the latest effort. And we're all locking in step with the change because... well, as I see it, it's because we have no other choice.

So, without turning this into a my-schedule-is-shorter-than-yours contest, or a complain-a-thon, I'd like to know what benefits you see in compressed time schedules.

The first thing that comes to mind for me is this:

I can have a tendency to digress in my design stage, a good and bad thing. Great for creativity, not so great for making decisions. I wind up with too many sounds and spend too much time trying to incorporate them all. With a shorter schedule decisions have to be made and they have to be made now, with no remorse of what could have been. It makes me think through my design and forces me to go with instinct rather than reaction.

  • Knight and Day was a great movie, by the way.
    – Utopia
    Jul 23, 2010 at 20:09

2 Answers 2


As I was reading through this, my mind immediately went to decision making; which, apparently, is exactly where yours went too. lol.

I would also argue that it forces you to take a step back and look at your work habits. When you're really pushed for time, it becomes readily apparent where you are lacking. Maybe it's something in how you arrange your session that isn't as efficient as it could be. Maybe there's a particular skill that's just not up to speed for the increased pressure. While I don't like the feeling that the deadline is breathing down my neck and wondering what my flesh might taste like, I do think it provides an excellent opportunity for self-assessment.

When it happens to me, I almost always come away with something. I like to experiment a little right afterwards, to see if I can't make that element less painful for the future; particularly if I feel some skillset of mine required for the job is a little weak. I usually haven't realized it until I'm totally screwed time wise. Great impetus for self improvement, that.

  • Definitely! I'm constantly re-examining templates, shortcuts and bad habits in an effort to not feel the crunch so much and get the work done more efficiently. Good point. Jul 23, 2010 at 22:36

The nice thing about tight schedules is that they move projects through the facility faster. This means its that much less time before we begin the next one, and that much less time before we send the invoice for the current one. :)

  • LOL! Nice. Can I up-vote this twice? Jul 23, 2010 at 22:43
  • @Steve Urban - Probably not, but I'll do it for you. Jul 23, 2010 at 22:52

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