Have you ever noticed that really practical filmmaking advice is very hard to come by?
In interviews with famous directors, you hear a lot of ‘woo woo’ esoteric nonsense about the nature of filmmaking, the creative soul, and a bunch of other garbage.
I mean, all that stuff is fine and has its place, but it’s not really useful advice for someone who wants to learn the nuts & bolts of filmmaking.
But then I read an article this morning that had some of the most practical filmmaking advice I’ve ever heard.
It was from director Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, Innerspace). Apparently, famed B-movie director Roger Corman had dropped this little bit of advice on him early in his career–
His first piece of advice, most important, was sit down a lot, because it’s a difficult job.
Not what you’d expect from someone who has produced and directed over 400 films?
It reminded me of a bit of advice I heard Dennis Dugan give at a speech once. Dugan directed Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, and pretty much every big Adam Sandler film. His films have grossed over a billion dollars worldwide.
And Dugan’s advice?
When you’re on set, change your socks at lunchtime–it’ll make you feel like a new person.
Why do you think this is the advice that famous, successful directors like Corman and Dugan are giving out?
Because they know that there’s more than one way to make a good film.
There’s tons of talented, creative people out there.
But most aren’t prepared for the daily grind.
The long hours on set.
The day to day realities of what it’s actually like to work on a film.
Roger Corman certainly isn’t the most talented director of all time, but he’s one of the most famous.
Why is that?
Because he showed up.
He did the work.
He changed his socks at lunch.
And then he went back to work.
Too many people focus on the creativity and the planning.
It’s important, but remember that the real work is the doing.
Read the rest of Corman’s advice to Dante: