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Archive for the ‘Filmmaking Quote of the Day’ Category

“Don’t go through the system. Do it yourself. Do something you believe in.”
Oscar-nominated  writer/director John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood)
2013 Filmmaker Magazine article by Allan Tong

Some of you weren’t even born in 1991 when John Singleton’s Boyz in the Hood hit the theaters. It’s a different kind of coming of age story than Boyhood that I wrote about yesterday. Singleton was fresh out of USC film school when at the age of 23 he directed his first featured from his screenplay and received two Oscar-nominations.

P.S. Singleton’s quote is reminiscent of the Edwards Burns quote, “Don’t try and compete with Hollywood.”

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Scott W. Smith

 

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“There’s no one to tell you it’s bad. So your own grandiosity and pride tells you—’Wow this is great; it couldn’t be any better. I think the audience would be comfortable with a two-hour-twenty-minute comedy. Why not?’ Then you show it to your studio or producers and they go, ‘Ooooh. That’s a little long…do you need this scene?’ At first it’s like someone suggesting you murder your own children. Then you wake up to the fact that you’re not alone in this process and that you are making films for an audience.”
Writer/director Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day) on first cuts of films
Creative Screenwriting January /February 2004

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“My recipe for making movies has always been to give an audience two or three really top-notch scenes in every film and to try not to annoy them the rest of the time. If you can do that you will have made an entertaining picture.”
Producer/director Howard Hawks (Red River, Sergeant York, His Girl Friday)
Talk at Chicago Film Festival
via The Movie Makers: Artists in an Industry by Gene D. Phillips

Here are two memorable scenes with Howard Hawks connections. The first is from the film The Big Sky (1952) which Hawks directed, and the second film is Scarface (1983) directed by Brian DePalma from a script by Oliver Stone.  After seeing the original Scarface (1932) which Hawks directed, Al Pacino set theings in motion to star in a modern retelling of the story.

Scott W. Smith

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“Everything’s always about page-turning, right? What’s next? So, if you create questions for audiences, then they’ll want to know the answer. Or they begin to formulate possible outcomes. That’s the game we play when we’re hearing a story unfold. That’s part of what sucks us into a movie.”
Producer/Director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, Rush)
Extended interview: Ron Howard on directing
CBS Sunday Morning

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“A film is like a battleground. It’s love, hate, action, violence, death—In one word, emotions.”
Writer/director/World War II veteran Samuel Fuller (1912-1997)
Playing himself (uncredited) in the Jean-Luc Goddard film Pierrot le Fou

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“You need to be very ‘platformagostic.’ You want to find an audience wherever that audience is. So think about the web, TV, and theaters. Open yourself to as many possibilities as you can imagine. Today you cannot be just a filmmaker; you have to be a marketer, accountant, publicist, writer, and businessman. You have to understand the economics of making a movie and what it takes for you to continue to make movies. Only the jack of all trades are ultimately sucessful…Do whatever you can to get your film made and to tell the truth. I was in film school with people far more talented than me, and today they’re in the insurance or banking business. I was successful because I refused to give up.”
Producer/director/writer Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold)
Making a Living as a Documentarian
by Oliver W. Tuthill Jr
MovieMaker magazine Issue 103 Vol 20, page 23

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“You go out and find some interesting people. You get to know them and film them, and you make something that says something about who they are; you learn to make movies that have some meaning.”
Filmmaker Les Blank (Burden of Dreams)
A Well Spent Life by Betsy Mclane
DGA Quarterly Spring 2012

Scott W. Smith

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