Fall 2018

Jennifer Radzikowski

Maximizing Limited Resources to Meet the Director's Vision


Everyone is an artist in filmmaking, even down to your carpenter," says UPM Jennifer Radzikowski. "You always have to be budget-minded, for sure. But how I view a budget is, How can I manifest a vision out of these numbers that's in step with the goals and dreams and aspirations of the director?"

Recalling an emotionally fraught scene from Sean Baker's The Florida Project—which originally included a stunt sequence for the main character, a 6 year old from a broken home played by Brooklynn Prince—Radzikowski notes that practical boundaries can often lead to even better artistic choices. "We had some [budget] overages and were able to talk to Sean and really lay out the [scene's] intent … the agony and anguish that [the character is] experiencing in that moment when she realizes that her whole life is falling apart," she says. Eliminating the stunt, which involved the child running into traffic in a panic, inspired Baker "to hold on her crying in extreme close-up to say the same thing. It was a better change, and it was relatable."

Radzikowski's advice for keeping everything running smoothly on set? "Create an environment where everyone feels valued for their contribution as artists," she says. "Yes, be good with your numbers and be fair, but also understand that it's not just above the line that's making a movie. It's everyone."

(Photo: Dina Avila)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

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