When someone says in school, that they want to become a director, mockery and hubris chuckles greet them with unabashed forgiveness. People tend to believe that becoming a director in the film industry requires connections, and going to a film school. Despite completing the aforementioned pre-requisites, aspiring film-makers often fail to materialize. And this is because of the fact that a conventional approach to film-making can’t be opted for. It isn’t something taught in school, but something one has an inherent talent for, and is ardently passionate about, and also has relentless strive to keep trying. Visionary auteurs like Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola didn’t go to a film school. Interestingly enough, Spielberg received a ‘C’ in his final project, and decided to drop college and make short films. Ultimately, he became the youngest director ever to receive a contract for making films from a major production house.
Taking a leaf out of such inspirational personalities, I myself am an aspiring film-maker, and have inculcated the following tips in my life, which I am about to share with you. For me, it was Coppola’s ‘The Conversation’ which prompted a long-comatose dream, buried somewhere deep due to parental and peer pressure. Try some and keep dreaming! Here are the things you should start doing if you want to become a film director.
1. Study Movies — Not Just Watch Them
The first and foremost requirement if you want to be a director. I know at the face of it, this might be hilarious, but its veracity is unquestionable. People are often seen longing to make it in the industry, and work with their super-stars, without even watching their best work. Kitschy potboilers and wholesome entertainers aren’t what will help you to take the fledgling steps towards achieving your dreams. Watch art movies, preferably independently produced, not that the big production houses don’t make good films. Study them. Give them your undivided attention. Well, not Dwight Schrute though, whose attention you can’t handle. Start out slow, and gradually make your way towards true art-house pictures, if you want to learn about the trade. Jot down something you find interesting and innovative attempted by the director in various scenes. And watch as many you can, as many times you can!
2. Study Screenplays