10 Filmmaking Tips from Spike Lee

I first saw these 10 inspirational filmmaking tips from Spike Lee posted to LinkedIn.com. I don’t know who compiled them, but I thought they were deeply insightful. and worth sharing with you.

  1. Write about yourself and what you know.
  2. Making even a terrible film is hard.
  3. If you want to be a director, you have a much bigger chance to ger your (first) film made if you also write your own screenplays.
  4. For drama you got to have two people butting heads. And to elevate that drama both have to be right.
  5. Your filmmaking always has room for improvement. Try to grow with every project.
  6. Laziness can hinder a filmmaker the most.
  7. To make it, you got to be relentless, you got to persevere, you got to be focused, you have to work on your craft and never stop learning.
  8. Make films with your phone and make them seen online. Film agencies have people whose only job is to look for new talent on the Internet.
  9. If you go to film school, don’t go for the degree. Go to learn the game, to use their resources and to come out with a finished film or screenplay.
  10. Write by hand.

I was especially intrigued by his last point. I don’t think he means that everything should be hand-written – especially if you’ve tried to read my hand-writing – but that we need to slow down and THINK about what we are writing, rather than just blast words to the page.

There is so much here that I agree with. Especially perseverance. There are SO MANY obstacles to creating anything – from books to films to art in general – that you need to really, really care about what you are doing.

Never give up.


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