Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceOther - Education · 1 decade ago

How can I improve my work ethic with my filmmaking?

I'm a film student and make short films but my movies are getting worse and Im not improving as a filmmaker and Im getting worse... I got lazy and my pre-production on my last movie was horrible and the actors didn't know there lines and my shots weren't planned out and the movie was a train wreck... How can I be a better Filmmaker?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    How can you be a better filmmaker? Keep doing what you're doing!

    Look, it's very important for you to understand that you are learning something from every experience. In fact, people tend to learn more from "negative" experiences than from positive. If everything always went the way you wanted them to, how would you ever progress as a filmmaker and as a person?

    People who haven't failed, aren't pushing themselves hard enough. Just saying that you're "getting worse" means that you're still out there trying and THAT alone means that you're doing better than the majority of people out there who only SAY they want to do something. Actually DOING it is a success in and of itself.

    So, keep making movies, but if you find that you're not advancing your skills in some way, here is my very sincere suggestion. Push yourself to do a larger project. I don't know what you've done so far, but instead of repeating yourself, put the camera down for a while and invest a lot more time into writing a longer form script. Write a feature length story that is A) produce-able within your capabilities and B) has potential to get noticed at a festival or bought at AFM or Cannes Film Market.

    To help you do this successfully, you NEED to learn everything you can about how the professionals make movies. What I'm getting at here is that if you want to become a successful professional Director, then embrace the specialization working protocol of "Hollywood" and bring on people who can help you. Find an experienced Cameraman who wants to shoot your movie. Find a Producer who will help you with the logistics. Find experienced Actors who are looking to expand their own careers with a promising project. Fill out your crew with people who are excited about working on a movie... YOUR movie.

    I've listed a few resources below that will definitely help you. There are a lot of different books and resources out there that claim to be helpful, but most are just out to sell dreams to gullible naive aspiring filmmakers. But there are a few honest resources out there that will actually help you to create the career and life you really want. In addition to those listed below, be sure to check out the "Resources" page at for countless other websites and job-specific books that may be able to guide you for future projects.

    Creating success takes enthusiasm, perseverance, and passion and you seem to have all of that. So keep at it. You're learning from everything you do so don't let it discourage you. Just keep moving forward and you'll get there. Good luck!

    Brian Dzyak


    IATSE Local 600, SOC

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not a film director but I'm fortunate in that a good acquaintance of mine is a hollywood film director (not Spielberg BTW) who is about to reach the top of his game when his blockbuster film that he has been on for the last year gets released in cinemas nationwide. It stars two very famous actors. We are all very excited about his new found success. :-)

    You have a very difficult journey ahead of you. Getting to the top is not easy and unless you have got family connections that extend all the way to the top of the hollywood hierachy you must set yourself apart from not just the others in your class but the rest of new batch of filmmakers that are looking to break into the industry.

    If your heart is in filmmaking then you won't be lazy. That goes with everything. Medicine. Law. Investment Banking.

    One of the things my mate and other notable filmmakers have in common is their literacy level is pretty high. Read as much as possible. It determines how you think. Stephen King advised that a budding author should spend at least four hours a day reading.

    Experience the world - few good filmmakers live completely insulated lives. They live a very full life. Oliver Stone's father worked as a broker on Wall Street, which he use to visit many times. This become the inspiration for his oscar winning film. He was also a war veteran and from his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam was able to write a very good war movie. Michael Crichton based ER on his experiences as a medical student at Harvard University.

    Become curious about the world. Travel alot. Everybody has a story to tell. My mate started out in documentary filmaking before crossing the gap into Hollywood. Finally think outside the book. Don't caught up in the latest film making trends. Dance music over action scenes (e.g Matrix) has been done to death. Fast pace editing doesn't always work. The new James Bond film failed when the Bourne trilogy succeeded in that regard. Be original. Think outside the box. But nothing too extreme as your films always have to be logical. There is nothing that irritates the audiennce more than a film that doesn't make any sense with characters that do not behave like human beings.

    Finally be a good communicator and leader. If your actors didn't know their lines the responsibility comes back to you. Either you weren't tough enough in the first place, or you cast the wrong people for the roles.

    Gotta go, very busy these days. Hope this helps.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi Jason B.

    I'm not film maker, but I imagine that film direction is just like any other management-type role, when you're in a position with a lot of responsibility.

    As a filmmaker, I can't really advise, other than the more you focus on your films getting worse, you're setting yourself up for failure. You know by the work you've done in the past, what you HAVE done, and I guess only your imagination can limit what you CAN do in the future.

    I would probably advise to stop focusing on the problem or you will attract others focused on the problem (e.g: the actors that don't learn their lines) etc.

    To be able to place yourself on the 'good / bad filmmaker' scale, you must have an idea of what makes a great one.

    As a coach, I would advise you to ask yourself 'what person do I need to become to become who I want to be?' (Sounds weird I know), but in my experience it works.

    Once you have done that, you can set yourself goals regarding your situation, e.g: in the next shoot, I'm going to be more organised and hire the actors that are going to learn their lines and do their job properly.

    Hope this helps, let me know how it turns out.

    Good luck :D.

    ID: whataboringid.

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