Top 3 Film Directing Tips from Greg Takoudes


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Top 3 Film Directing Tips from Greg Takoudes

Tip #1: Make a lot of movies.
Short movies, clips, scenes, anything. Look at the Safdie brothers and how many countless short films – some even just a few seconds long – that they cranked out for years before jumping into a feature. Even if the actors are your roommates or family members, even if it’s shot and edited on your phone, and even (and especially) if it’s not a good film. Keep making them. Develop your eye by doing.

Tip #2: Watch a lot of movies – but just as importantly, expose yourself to more influences than just film. Read novels, listen to music, study paintings, listen to old radio plays. The deeper your well of creative and aesthetic influences, from all forms of art and expression, the more ideas you’ll have on set for how to stage, frame, and conceive your own movie.

Tip #3: Find collaborators and conspirators. Find creatives – actors, DPs, anyone – who compliment you, who bring out the best in you, who push you forward artistically. Help them on their films and projects in order to learn from them, and then ask them to help you on yours. Movies are made by groups of collaborators who trust and know each other well. Find those artistic soulmates, develop your inner circle of collaborators, and make lots of work together. You’ll all grow and get much better by doing it this way.

Book Spotlight

The Collaborative Director
A Department-by-Department Guide to Filmmaking, 1st Edition
By Greg Takoudes

Book Review:
“Takoudes has written a refreshing and insightful text that dispels the myth that films are made by a single auteur and expertly showcases with clear and concise case studies that the greatest cinema of the last twenty years has been a collaborative effort. Something aspiring directors need to read.”
-Ted Wilkes, Lecturer in Screenwriting, Regent’s University, London

The Collaborative Director: A Department-by-Department Guide to Filmmaking explores the directorial process in a way that allows the director to gather the best ideas from the departments that make up a film crew, while making sure that it is the director’s vision being shown on screen. It goes beyond the core concepts of vision, aesthetic taste, and storytelling to teach how to effectively collaborate with each team and fully tap into their creative potential.

The structure of the book follows a budget top sheet, with each chapter describing the workflow and responsibilities of a different department and giving insights into the methods and techniques a director can use to understand the roles and dynamics. Each chapter is divided into four sections. Section one provides an overview of the department, section two focuses on directors who have used that department in notably effective ways, section three looks at collaboration from the reverse perspective with interviews from department members, and section four concludes each chapter with a set of tasks directors can use to prepare.

Ideal for beginner and intermediate filmmaking students, as well as aspiring filmmakers and early career professionals, this book provides invaluable insight into the different departments, and how a director can utilize the skills and experience of a crew to lead with knowledge and confidence.

Order your copy of the book, “The Collaborative Director“, at the StudentFilmmakers Online Store today.