Wisdom of the greats: Inspirational quotes from your favorite film directors
One of the best ways to learn about film is to draw inspiration from other filmmakers. Whether you’re an aspiring or established director, producer, scriptwriter, or cinematographer, there’s knowledge & wisdom to be found in the suggestions and musings offered by some of the most revered directors of our time. Get ready for some goosebump-worthy inspiration.
“Perhaps it sounds ridiculous, but the best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.” – Stanley Kubrick
In other words, just get out there and make it happen. Kubrick says so!
“I think people who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect.” – Spike Lee
A little reminder that it actually helps in the filmmaking business to not be perfect.
“I’d love to do a sci-fi movie, a Western, or an espionage thriller. But I’m not going to limit myself. If a good script comes along, I’m not going to discount it because it doesn’t fit into one of these genres.” – Park Chan-wook
A sound piece of advice for all filmmakers out there: don’t limit yourself when it comes to seeking new stories. Keep exploring and don’t hesitate to try other film niches. Strive to be unique and enforce the important things needed to be done for a great movie. A film director should welcome all creative possibilities.
“That’s my advice with dealing with writer’s block: follow the fun. If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong.” – Jordan Peele
Every writer experiences writer’s block. If you’re struggling with writer’s block, try to lighten up and have fun with it. All together now: “This too shall pass!”
“Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal.” – Ava DuVernay
Take it from the most badass girlboss in Hollywood right now and never give up on your passion. Film units involve different tasks, locations, and significant people that directors are passionate about. The scriptwriter, producer, and director stay with the film-making process from start to finish. However, before anything can start, a deal should be made. This deal includes writers, a director, and the main stars of the movie.
“Filmmaking can give you everything, but at the same time, it can take everything from you.” – Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu
Even the most talented directors suffer for their art.
“It’s better not to know so much about what things mean or how they might be interpreted or you’ll be too afraid to let things keep happening.” – David Lynch
Surrealist filmmakers, take note! The first phase of film-making is called preproduction, consisting of script development and production planning. The preproduction team is small. It consists of people who are trusted by the film director.
“To recognize yourself in a character onscreen, and to connect with them, you gotta recognize their flaws; they gotta feel like a real person.” – Ryan Coogler
Tap into the flaws in yourself and in your characters to make them seem real. Put yourself into the characters of the script and let your thoughts and emotions flow, allowing you to influence artists and bring out the best in them.
“The great thing about the business is how Darwinian it is. We have to swim or die – if you are found wanting over a period of time, you’ve either got to change what you’re doing or find something else to do.” – Steven Soderbergh
From one of the greatest innovators in the business, Soderbergh (Unsane) advises if you find yourself treading water, it’s definitely time for a game change.
“I never studied directing and I never really thought about doing it, and then I just found myself in that situation and tried it.” – Sofia Coppola
Proof that you don’t need to go to college to learn the art – you just need to be a good storyteller. While formal schooling allows you to learn the technical aspects, experience enables you to go beyond what the eyes can see or visuals can do for your film.
“The only advice I can give is to surround yourself with people who are friends and people who believe in you and your material and who are going to help you take it to the next level. It doesn’t mean you don’t listen to criticism, but you listen to it and edit it, and you figure out what you can take.” – Dee Rees
No matter where you’re at in your career, it’s always good to heed the advice of your loved ones. Read more inspirational quotes on this website.
Learn from the great quotes mentioned above. The wisdom you’ll learn from them may help influence your mindset.