30 Famous Directors Share What They Believe In and The Rules they Follow to Make Films
Whether you’ve learned it from reading articles and listening to audio commentaries, or you’ve discovered it in the trenches making your own films, you probably know by now that not only two filmmakers never work the same, but working on two films is not the same either. Each director has its own quirks, beliefs and nuggets of wisdom that has help them to make their first film, and build on it to keep going and strive over time.
Alison Nastasi at Flavorwire made an impressive compilation of quotes from 100 directors that shared, in different interviews, what they believe is important to lead this unconventional creative life. Going through them, I realized that some quotes not only really resonated with me, but could also be reduced to a simple sentence. Besides few instances where the quote was already “tweet-friendly”, I took the liberty to extract the essence of what 30 famous directors said and share it below: (in alphabetical order)
Andrea Arnold: “When your characters are really living they tell you what they do.”
Bernardo Bertolucci: “I don’t film messages. I let the post office take care of those.”
James Cameron: Don’t get seduced by your own stuff; work hard to keep a blank slate state of mind each time you watch your film.
Jean Cocteau: Cultivate everything the critics hated in your first work: that’s what makes you unique.
Sofia Coppola: Forget the audience, make what you want to see
David Cronenberg: “You start selling the movie before you make it.”
Alfonso Cuaron: Learn from your experience shooting your film, and then move on to the next.
Claire Denis: Start with scout locations first.
Marina de Van: “Be patient.”
Lena Dunham: “Don’t wait around for someone else to tell your story. Do it yourself by whatever means necessary.”
Ava DuVernay: Stop asking, start doing.
Atom Egoyan: Try to produce your own films, avoid directing for hire.
David Fincher: Take ownership of every decision you make because you will be hold responsible for the film, whether good or bad.
Jim Jarmusch: No mistakes can be make during rehearsals, only progress toward what works best.
Stanley Kubrick: Know what it is the emotional statement to convey, and use taste and judgement to help the actors give their best possible performance.
Penny Marshall: “Do whatever you can that doesn’t compromise your morals.”
Richard Linklater: In a sea of stories, find the right one to tell, and the right way to tell it.
Jennifer Lynch: Trust yourself so you can own both your mistakes and your successes
Sidney Poitier: “I always had the ability to say ‘no.’ That’s how I called my own shots.”
Kelly Reichardt: “The lies are in the dialogue, the truth is in the visuals.”
Robert Rodriguez: Make DV movies so you can learn how to make films, but don’t try to distribute them until they are fantastic.
George A. Romero: “Collaborate, don’t dictate.”
Susan Seidelman: Casting is 50% of your task. If you cast well, you’re halfway through.
John Singleton: Nobody cares about your little movie but you, so go make it.
Martin Scorsese: Always stay open to surprise.
Paul Verhoeven: Stay healthy, filmmaking is very demanding.
Lana Wachowski: Understand Cinema is a social art form and no film can be done alone.
Wim Wenders: Don’t worry about getting final cut, worry about making the best possible cut.
Robert Wise: If it seems slow on set it will feel twice as slow on screen.
Alice Wu: Hire the best people possible to help you juggle with keeping all the balls in the air.
[Thanks to @milesmaker]