Ed Zwick's 10 Filmmaking Rules - Complications Ensue
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

From MovieMaker Magazine:
There are 10 simple rules to great moviemaking. Unfortunately, I never learned them. These are the best I could come up with on short notice…

1. Remember to breathe. You’ve probably worked for two years to get to this moment, and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get to do it again. You might as well enjoy it.

2. The camera is a Buddha. It sees the world as it is. It doesn’t photograph your expectations or your fantasies. Try to see as the camera sees.

3. No plan survives contact with the enemy. [Note: Field-Marshall von Moltke.] Over-prepare and then be ready to throw it all away when the actor feels his character wouldn’t do it that way.

4. A good idea can come from anywhere. You might as well listen to what others have to say because you’re going to get the credit (and blame) anyway. The key grip has made six times as many movies as you have.

5. Life is messy. It doesn’t stop while you’re talking on the telephone. If it feels too comfortable, it’s probably wrong; if it feels right it’s probably too slow.

6. No movie can ever be funny enough. Surgeons, cops and priests need to laugh, too.

7. An audience’s attention span is even shorter than yours. Fill every moment, stick to the story and try not to shoot the parts you’re going to cut.

8. The actors move the camera, the camera doesn’t move the actors. Unless you have a style, don’t act as if you do.

9. Make your movie for one person at a time. Imagine your fourth grade teacher sitting alone in the dark.

10. Where there is no solution there is no problem. At some point in every production, the director loses faith in the movie and the crew loses faith in the director. Somehow it all works out.
Make of that what you will.

Labels:

5 Comments:

I'd say No. 7 just about covers it all.

By Blogger JamesHutchinson, at 4:35 PM  

I ended up skipping #7. Could someone give me a quick version?

By Blogger Tim W., at 12:11 AM  

5, 6 and 7 seem like incredibly good advice for writers.

By Blogger Xander Bennett, at 2:32 AM  

I love "the camera is your Budda"...it's so true. I have a couple of friends who are filmmakers and they treat their cameras like it's there own personal god...as they should.

Great post!

Timothy
Washington DC film school

By Blogger TJLoop85, at 1:48 PM  

stineeven though i din understand it all, i felt those 'r interesting. espessially - "if there is no solution, there is no problem part" worth reading.

By Blogger sandy, at 11:24 AM  

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