Traits of a Good Film Maker
Every successful filmmaker has a different journey and path to success. While their stories may be different and their style of storytelling may differ, there are a few traits that are common among them. Let’s look at six traits that make one a good filmmaker.
Be Open to Communication
As a director, you are the only one who knows your film back to front, so be open and communicate. Share your perspective and expectations with the team so that your crew knows what is to be done. An effective communicator is one who listens, so whether you agree or disagree, be open to dialogue and let your team tell you what they think and can do.
Be a Collaborator
Making a film is like a group project in which all the creative people are teamed together, so the first step is to set aside your ego and be a team player. Each person on a set is equipped with certain capabilities, and a good director will know how to leverage the best out of each of them. Tell your team what you expect and let them tell you how they would treat it. Be open to new ideas and perspectives and know that it is coming from a place of experience and expertise.
As a filmmaker and creative person, it is important to be critical of your work. This is not to say that you have to be skeptical or pessimistic; it is to be objective and look at it from a new perspective every single time. If you are unsure about a scenario – revisit it, re-write it, show your work to people who you value and get them to give you feedback. Use feedback and criticism constructively to make your film better. Most successful filmmakers are objective of their work despite the film’s success at the box office. This shows that even the best in the business feel that there could be another perspective.
As George Lucas famously said, “A director makes 100 decisions an hour and if you don’t know how to make the right decision then you are not a director”. As the captain of the team, you will have to make decisions and some may be tougher than the others – but be courageous to make decisions. You are bound to get a lot of suggestions and recommendations, have a good filter to sieve through these conversations so that you can make the right choice.
The first step to be a good director is to learn everything there is to know about film making. While on a set, you may not have to do all the jobs yourself – be it lights, photography, sound, special effects, however, it helps to know the foundations of these aspects. Learn the ropes and workings of the industry, this will help you establish yourself. Your passion for your craft will inspire people to work with you.
Whether it is with how you tell your story, shoot the film or how you deal with problems on your set during the shoot – be creative.
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