Martin Scorsese’s filmmaking advice for beginners

Without a doubt, if you asked a room full of filmmakers who their biggest influence is. The name Martin Scorsese would crop up a fare few times. With good reason too, he’s one of the most renowned directors in cinema, creating some jaw dropping moments in film. In this video, BAFTA Guru asks Scorsese what filmmaking advice he would give to beginner filmmakers.

By the end of my third year, I had made my first short. The key to everything was the teacher. I was very lucky to be taught, actually more taught, encouraged by my teacher. He only wanted to make documentaries really. Bottom line though, it’s all about the inspiration.

When Martin Scorsese wanted to make movies in the 70’s in Los Angeles, he was considered a young person who had studied movies. That really wasn’t the case, as one of the lecturers at New York University said at that time, “The only reason to go to film school is to get your hands on the equipment and to make the movie”.

You can’t be told how to make a movie, there’s no magic formula or a simple list to follow. The thing that is important when attending any film school, is the inspiration you should get from your professor.

You can’t really talk about filmmaking advice with Martin Scorsese without asking about his inspirations. When talking about his influences, Scorsese’s cites an overriding compelling impulse, this extraordinary powerhouse of two or three films he saw as a child that changed everything for him. Along with musicals, westerns and all of British Cinema. Take a look at the video above to get a huge list of films he would recommend.

Make your own industry. We create movies. Don’t pay attention to the industry. Do your own thing. You want your work to be seen, but it doesn’t have to be at the Odeon.

Above all else, Scorsese’s advice to any new filmmakers is to make films. Make films the way you want to make films and don’t worry about anything else. With the availability of equipment these days (like that phone in your pocket) there really is no excuse to go and make your film, the way you want to make it.