Words of Inspiration and Advice from/for Filmmakers

We often hear what we should not do, what is not possible and what our limitations must be. The quotes below are for and/or by filmmakers. May they inspire you, advise you and recharge you.



A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something – Frank Capra


Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity – Chuck Jones


I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing. – Francis Ford Coppola


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. – Scott Adams


I like my filma to have  beginning, a middle and an end… but not necessarily in that order. – Jean-Luc Godard


There is only one plot: Things are not what they seem. – Jim Thompson

Piss PoorProdigious Preproduction Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Postproduction. – Ronald Petrie


To shoot a film is to organize an entire universe. – Ingmar Bergman


You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead. – George Lucas

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 13.27.25

Every film is difficult. Making films, you’re always going to have problems, there’s always going to be challenges. – Alfonso Cuaron


My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you’ve got to be a filmmaker. – Robert Wise


The only safe thing to do is to take a chance. – Mike Nichols

Get Along

This applies to many film jobs, not just editing: half the job is doing the job, and the other half is finding ways to get along with people and tuning yourself in to the delicacy of the situation. – Walter Murch


I learned 99% of what goes on on a Film set eavesdropping. Do not talk, listen. – David Allen Cluck


If two men on a job agree al the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time then both are useless. – Daryl F. Zanuck


A director must be a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant and a bastard. – Billy Wider


When I was a kid, there was no collaboration: it’s you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself. – Steven Spielberg.


Casting is 65 percent of directing – John Frankenheimer


I try to create an atmosphere comfortable enough to remove tension and everyone feels free. If they feel free, behaviour happens, small moments happen. – Barry Levinson


It is important to appear confident, but it is more important to not be afraid to act like a fool, have fun, laugh and shake your hips to get people comfortable. – Sergio Leone


In the language of the actor, to know is synonymous with to feel. – Constantin Stanislavsky


Listen with your gut, not your head. – Sanford Meisner

Gun and Rose

What the public wants is a gun and a girl – D.W. Griffith


Self-plagiarism is style – Alfred Hitchcock


Be a person. That personhood will help you become a better filmmaker. I can’t tell you how to do it. I can encourage you to do it. – Haskell Wexler


A Cinematographer is a visual psychiatrist moving an audience through a movie… making them think the way you want them to think, painting pictures in the dark. – Gordon Willis


If you shoot the rehearsal, it’s not a rehearsal. – Larry Fong


If i were ever stranded on a desert island there would be three things I’d need: food, shelter and a grip. – George C. Scott


Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot. – Buster Keaton


As a filmmaker, I ask question but don’t have answers. Moviemaking is a philosophical exploration. I invite the audience to come on the journey and discover what they think and feel – David Cronenberg


A film is, or should be, more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later. -Stanley Kubrick


The best soundtrack music by-passes your mind and goes straight to your soul. It sort of trips something in your brain, you know you’re being transported. – Cameron Crowe


Looking at a first assembly is kind of like looking at an overgrown garden. You can’t just wade in with a weed whacker; you don’t yet know where the stems of the flowers are. – Walter Murch


The eye solicited alone makes the ear impatient, the ear solicited alone makes the eye impatient. Use these impatiences. – Robert Bresson


Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.  – Martin Scorsese


No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls. – Ingmar Bergman


Going to the cinema is like retuning to the womb. You sit there, still and meditative in the darkness, waiting for life to appear on the screen. – Federico Fellini


Sometimes you have to lie to tell the truth – Robert Flaherty


You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down – Charles Chaplin


Del Toro

The saddest journey in the world is the one that follows a precise itinerary. Then you’re not a traveler. You’re a f@*%ing tourist. – Guillermo del Toro

This post will be updated every time I’m in need of inspiration, guidance, courage and distractions. 

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