Film is a collaborative art and, fortunately for independent filmmakers, a whole host of movie magicians have shared top tips to adopt as part of your crew’s filmmaking practice. As an independent filmmaker you should be open to advice from everyone with solid film production experience and these guys certainly have that.
Ranging from the valuable insight of Quentin Tarantino to the maverick genius of Orson Welles, here is a collection of helpful guidance provided by gifted filmmakers that went their own way rather than that of the studios. Watch the videos, soak up the advice and implement their tips and insights while you dive headfirst into starting your own film career.
Tarantino on: Scripting a Movie
Nailing the script before setting up your camera is good advice from anyone, but when it happens to be Quentin Tarantino, one of the best in the business, it’s solid gold. Here QT talks about writing the script as a finished piece of literature in its own right that should compel the writer to then adapt it into something special for the screen.
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Independent filmmakers often find it a struggle to secure funding. However, as Edward Burns discusses in this interview, working on a microbudget can also gift you unparalleled creative freedom and help you steer clear of that dreaded word COMPROMISE.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and directors with modest budgets are often encouraged to be more creative when striving to get their vision up on the screen.
Few film directors have created a body of work as rich and varied as Martin Scorsese. When he started out after graduating from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Scorsese developed his style independently from the studios and his early flair and encyclopaedic knowledge of film history continues to shape his oeuvre. Here he discusses Story vs. Plot with Jon Favreau. Do you agree with the brows from the Bronx?
Kevin Smith: Cult Cutting Methods
One of the most distinct independent voices in recent years, Kevin Smith has always been forthcoming when it comes to sharing tips with fellow filmmakers. The director has great advice on editing: start the process while shooting, as it saves money and time and enables you to notice when you need to capture a quick pick up shot:
“Whenever I’m not shooting, I’m in the editing room with my footage. While the crew is taking 15 minutes to an hour to set up the next shot, I’m behind the Avid, putting the flick together.”
Watch the interview with Smith below for more helpful guidance on indie distribution:
Orson Welles: The Master Speaks
No director has had the complete artistic control that Welles enjoyed on Citizen Kane. However, he was increasingly marginalised by the studios and forced to find his own funding for the independently made films he directed later in his career.
“I started at the top and worked my way down”, Welles would later say. Nevertheless, his maverick stance and body of work continue to inspire filmmakers. In these two films, Welles underlines the importance of actors and fostering a close knit filmmaking family:
Good luck with your own film project. If you need further inspiration, watch this magnificent montage of filmmakers urging future generations to get up and go for it. That means you, by the way. There has never been a better time for creative people to band together, share their ideas and turn their dream of making a film into reality.