This episode is better because I only gave myself an hour to make it

“28 Days Later” is one of my favorite films. When my brother and I went to see it in the cinema in 2002, he made fun of me. After the movie ended, he looked at me and asked, “What did you think?” I replied with enthusiasm, “Awesome!” Unfortunately, my sincere response wasn’t appreciated at the time.

Despite its flaws, I absolutely loved the film. What’s interesting is that it was made with a budget of just around 5 million pounds, which is significantly lower compared to other films of the time that had an average budget of 38 million pounds.

Not only was money a constraint, but the film was set in a post-apocalyptic London and Scotland, requiring the creation of a convincing world on a limited budget. The filmmakers had to shoot quickly, finding pockets of time in the mornings and on Sundays when there was no traffic. This allowed Cillian Murphy’s character to walk the streets of London without encountering unexpected obstacles. They also used digital video instead of film, which made the cameras smaller and more maneuverable, resulting in quicker setup and teardown times. Additionally, they worked with a relatively unknown cast, including Cillian Murphy, and even used a real jet for a flyover scene because it was more cost-effective than CGI.

The story of “28 Days Later” teaches us that constraints can be beneficial. They help narrow the scope of projects, prevent them from going over time and budget, and focus our attention on what’s important. For example, in the production of this episode, I’ve set a time constraint of one hour, which forces me to prioritize and work efficiently.

Constraints also foster creativity and push us to think outside the box. They challenge our perceptions of what is possible and make us more adaptable. Working within constraints can lead to more efficient and effective work.

Here are eight types of constraints that we can apply to our projects:

  1. Time: Setting deadlines or working within specific timeframes.
  2. Budget: Working with limited financial resources.
  3. Scope: Deciding what to include or exclude based on available resources and external constraints.
  4. Technical: Working with the tools, apps, or technology at our disposal.
  5. Branding: Adhering to specific guidelines and constraints related to the client’s brand.
  6. Audience: Considering the preferences, needs, and limitations of the target audience.
  7. Medium: Understanding the constraints specific to the chosen medium, such as vertical video or painting on a specific canvas.
  8. Legal and Ethical: Complying with legal requirements and ethical considerations, such as music licensing or the use of certain technologies.

I invite you to pick an upcoming project and apply some constraints to it. Consider the various types of constraints listed above and experiment with limiting your work. See what happens when you challenge yourself to create something within tight constraints, whether it’s a limited timeframe or budget. Embracing constraints can lead to fun, interesting, and experimental work.

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