George A. Romero Speaks
Horror legend shares the 10 lessons he’s learned over 40 years behind the camera
by George A. Romero | Published May 26, 2010
A legend of the horror genre, George A. Romero has been scaring audiences for more than 40 years with his unique brand of socially-conscious fright films. His latest, the zombie epic Survival of the Dead (the sixth feature in Romero’s “Dead” series), was released by Magnolia Pictures via video on demand on April 30th, before hitting theaters on May 28th. Here, Romero shares 10 lessons he’s learned during his career.
1. Show, don’t tell. First drafts of my earliest screenplays always came in at 300-plus pages. I used to think that a thought unwritten was a thought lost. I learned that new and better thoughts come once you’ve had a chance to think about what you’ve written and then—rewrite. My producing partner, a wonderful editor, taught me that thoughts on the page should be precise and well-contemplated, or they wind up wasting time and money.
2. Time is money. So be prepared when you walk on to the set.
3. Know as much as you can about every crew member’s specialty. You will better appreciate a good job, and you won’t be ripped off by a DP who requisitions an outrageously expensive equipment package.
4. Computer graphics should be thought of as tools. Use them to save time and money, rather than just because you can.