I often, most of the time actually, shoot stuff where someone else has final say in what I do. I guess that is why I am a DP and not a director… 🙂
I just recently shot something that turned out very differently than what was planned and discussed. The spot was decided, in pre production, to have a hard, tough look, which was to be pushed hard in the grade.
We shot, and more importably lit, it for this look and tried to match the exterior look of winter in sweden, minus the snow. I sat in the grade and we delivered a spot which was exactly what the producer had ordered.
Regardless of this a senior person in the marketing department saw the spot and wanted a more cheerful, colorful look. We regraded it and delivered something very different with more of a sunshine look, or at least as much as we could since it was not lit for a sun shine look. The editor said “sorry but the boss has final call”
Frustrated and a little dissatisfied with the final look I delivered a spot which didn’t have the look we discussed in preproduction, nor the look which we lit for according to emails and shot sheets, but instead something someone in an office decided was the way to go. Not complaining for complaining’s sake jus and I realize this is the way it goes, this is certainly not the first time, but I wish there was better communication between the “final shot callers” and the actual producers/directors on site for the shoot. Planning is so key in delivering a product which lives up to what we all want, quality.