13 Greats share their filmmaking tips!

We all want to get out there and get filming. It’s only natural that someone as creative as you wants to go out into the wild and start shooting your new masterpiece and while we absolutely think you should do that occasionally you should listen to what others have to say about filmmaking. Especially when those people have been there and done it themselves and have all the filmmaking tips and tricks you could ever need. Each one of these videos will give you a glimpse into the journey they have made as filmmakers and we urge you to listen to their wise words. So grab a cup of tea and sit back to watch these great directors share their secrets.

Spike Lee

Guillermo Arriaga

Wes Anderson

Ron Howard

Joss Whedon

Sam Mendes

Martin Scorsese

Quentin Tarantino

J.J Abrams

Kevin Smith

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright

Judd Apatow

Terry Gilliam

Spike Lee

Whether you are on the road to becoming a successful writer, director or an all round filmmaker, Spike Lee has some simple advice…write! with both of those disciplines, you need to write. Spike Lee has been a professor at NYU for the past 15 years teaching film, so he know’s how to give some great advice. Well, that and the fact that Spike Lee has created some great films over the past 30+ years means you should probably listen to what he has to say.

 

Guillermo Arriaga

Guillermo Arriaga isn’t a name that commonly comes up when we talk about Directors, but he absolutely deserves a place on this list. He is responsible for some great films like Babel, 21 Grams, The Burning Man and more. In this video (which is an oldie) he talks about leading with the characters and story. The best thing a director or any filmmaker can do, is prep as much as possible and then prep some more.

 

Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson started out making a short film, before moving onto bigger and better things like The Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr Fox. In this short video, the director answers BAFTA’s three big questions. How did you get started in the industry? Which film/TV show/video game has most influenced you? What advice would you give to someone starting out? I don’t know about you, but I prefer the three big questions Rick Grimes asks on The Walking Dead.

 

Ron Howard

Ron Howard started out as an actor, on Happy Days, ehhhh. There are many ways into the film industry and I’m sure every story will be different. Ron talks about how his journey gave him a unique perspective on filmmaking and how he took what he learnt and applied it to a different art form. Ron Howard shares his directing tips, describing how acting is “a really great training ground” and “that taste and judgement is what it’s all about”.

 

Joss Whedon

“Remember to always be yourself, unless you suck.” Straight to the point there, Mr. Whedon. Joss Whedon has become one of the more recognisable names over the past couple of decades. Boasting a huge catalogue of film and TV including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Serenity, The Avengers and many, many more titles. Whedon talks about how writing became his “favourite thing ever”, and his journey from working on a Friday in a video store to the following Monday as a staff writer.

 

Sam Mendes

Director Sam Mendes discusses his journey into the filmmaking world and shares some filmmaking tips. He talks about which films have influenced him and the differences between directing film and theatre. Same Mendes has directed a lot of films over the years, including Road to Perdition, American Beauty and more recently a couple of Bond films, Skyfall and Spectre. Not too bad at all.

 

Martin Scorsese

If I was going to make a list about who I’d like to talk to about their filmmaking tips, Martin Scorsese would be close to the top of that list (behind Nic Cage, of course). The director of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Hugo talks to BAFTA about how he got started in the industry, Which film/TV show/video game has he been most influenced by and what advice would you give to someone starting out?

 

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin who? You might ask yourself. Well, he’s a little known director making these small films that don’t normally have a huge box office. He’s responsible for Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, The Hateful 8, Inglorious Basterds and the list goes on. Clearly, Tarantino is an uber successful filmmaker but even he had to start out somewhere, so in this video he talks to indie filmmakers at Comic-Con and offers advice to young filmmakers.

 

J.J Abrams

Now here’s a director that a lot of aspiring filmmakers want to imitate. Or at the very least, we all want to hear his filmmaking tips and tricks. J.J. Abrams has directed Star Wars, Star Trek Into Darkness, Lost, Super 8 and more. He fills us in on balancing intimacy with hyper-reality, why TV leaves room for surprises and the best advice he’s ever been given.

 

Kevin Smith

What can be said about Kevin Smith that hasn’t already been said? Mostly by himself in one of the thousands of podcasts he releases every day. All of which, by the way, are a must listen for filmmakers. The stories and anecdotes he tells about filmmaking are amazing and level of detail he goes into really gives you a great idea of what being a filmmaker is all about. So it stands to reason then, that this short video goes into the same amount of detail.

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright

Possibly three of the GetFilming teams favorite people in the filmmaking industry. From the days they collaborated on Big Train and Spaced, through to the films of the Cornetto Trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. If you’re a filmmaking gang or rabble or team then you’ll probably want to know about making films with friends, what filmmaking tips they have to share and how you can replicate their success. It’s handy that we have a video here for you to watch, then.

 

Judd Apatow

Judd Apatow is a very particular kind of filmmaker. He knows what he is good at and he sticks to it. Honing his craft and style over many years with films like Bridesmaids, The 40 Yr Old Virgin, Knocked Up etc. But even someone who has perfected their style had to start somewhere, so Judd explains how the wisdom imparted to him at that young age has stuck with him throughout his career. He also talks about how comedy has had a huge influence on him from a very early age.

 

Terry Gilliam

We’re all pretty envious of Terry Gilliam’s filmmaking list. He has been involved in so many cult classics that it would be hard not be envious. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Brothers Grimm and of course, Monty Python and the Holy Grail are all films he has acted in, written or directed. What a guy. Gilliam talks to BAFTA about how he got where he is and what advice he has for anyone at the beginning of their filmmaking journey.

Let us know your filmmaking tips in the comments below!