Spring 2018

Lisa Zugschwerdt

For Zugschwerdt, Smoothing Wrinkles on Time Is Par for the Course


Time may not always be on her side, but 2nd AD Lisa Zugschwerdt makes the most of it. "In my experience, transitions between scenes, shots or locations are where you can make a difference in time management," she says.

Zugschwerdt proved her skillset on a particularly complicated day during the making of Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time, constrained by the working hours of minors. "All of the kids had dialogue with Mindy [Kaling], and all had complicated blocking, and I remember during rehearsals looking at my watch and thinking, 'We are not going to get this entire scene,'" recalls Zugschwerdt. "We ended up hiring three sets of photo doubles for the kids that day."

Zugschwerdt then went to work, with the aim of getting the doubles to memorize their dialogue in a way that didn't hold up shooting. "We had a little village just for the doubles and I said, 'Give me five minutes, let me do a rehearsal.' We got them in there and it went seamlessly, each set."

The shoot moved like clockwork. "At the end of the day, my job is about finding ways to streamline, do things at a very high quality, do it quickly and save time."

(Photo: Tricia Noble)

At Work With

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

More from this issue
Check out the latest DGA Quarterly, featuring articles about the craft of directing feature films, documentaries, television content, standup specials and commercials. In addition, we explore of the theatrical experience in the cinematic age and discuss the net neutrality conundrum.