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A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. Generally, a film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, and visualizes the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- I think it’s important as a filmmaker, as any person working in the arts, that you’ve got to try new stuff and challenge yourself and take chances.” –
- Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it.
- Banksy in:Banksy Breaks His Silence on ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’; Hints at Next Film, TheFilmStage.com, 21 December 2010
- If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies. It's irrelevant who or what directed a movie, the important thing is that you either respond to it or you don't. There should be more women directing; I think there's just not the awareness that it's really possible. It is.
- Kathryn Bigelow in:The Art of Theatre: Then and Now, Cengage Learning, 1 January 2012, p. 55 and in:Michelle P. Perry Kathryn Bigelow discusses role of "seductive violence" in her films, 16 March 1990
- I was talking to a friend about it recently and I told him that the thing about making that film that upset me most was how cruel Lars is to the woman he is working with. Not that I can't take it, because I'm pretty tough and completely capable of defending myself, but because my ideals of the ultimate creator were shattered. And my friend said "What did you expect? All major directors are "sexist", a maker is not necessarily an expert in human rights or female/male equality!
My answer was that you can take quite sexist film directors like Woody Allen or Stanley Kubrick and still they are the one that provide the soul to their movies. In Lars von Trier's case it is not so and he knows it. He needs a female to provide his work soul. And he envies them and hates them for it. So he has to destroy them during the filming. And hide the evidence. What saves him as an artist, though, is that he is so painfully honest that even though he will manage to cover up his crime in the "real" world (he is a genius to set things up that everybody thinks it is just his female-actress-at-the-moment imagination, that she is just hysterical or pre-menstrual), his films become a documentation of this "soul-robbery". Breaking the Waves is the clearest example of that.
- Today, there's a general numbing of the audience. There's too much murder and killing. You make people insensitive by showing it all the time. The body count in pictures is huge. It numbs the audience into thinking it's not so terrible. Back in the '70s, I asked Orson Welles what he thought was happening to pictures, and he said, "We're brutalizing the audience. We're going to end up like the Roman circus, live at the Coliseum." The respect for human life seems to be eroding.
- Peter Bogdanovich in Gregg Kilday Legendary Director Peter Bogdanovich: What If Movies Are Part of the Problem?, The Hollywood Reporter 07/25/2012
- My movie is born first in my head, dies on paper; is resuscitated by the living persons and real objects I use, which are killed on film but, placed in a certain order and projected on to a screen, come to life again like flowers in water.
- Robert Bresson in: Eve Rosenhaft, Robbie John Macvicar Aitken Africa in Europe: Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century, Liverpool University Press, 2013, p. 235
- Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.
- There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.
- All I Need to Make a Comedy is a Park, a Policeman and a Pretty Girl.
- In Frane I am an autier
In England, I’m a horror movie director.
In Germany, I’m a filmmaker.
In the US, I’m a bum.
- We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies
- Walt Disney in: C. Molly Smith Joseph Gordon-Levitt Discusses His Collaborative Production Company, Hitrecord; Embarks On Fall Tour, Hollywoodreporter.com 30 October 2012
- First cuts are a bitch for a director, because it’s been so many months and you put your trust in your editor and you’re going to see your film assembled for the first time. You look at it and go, This is terrible. I hate it.
- Kenji Mizoguchi is to the cinema what Bach is to music, Cervantes is to literature, Shakespeare is to theatre, Titian is to painting: the very greatest.
- The foreign directors are always fumbling about in obscurity, and the critics are always writing about the juxtaposition of black and white and the existential dilemma and all that shit, to disguise the fact that they don't understand the first damn thing about it either.
G - L
- A story [in a film] should have a beginning, a middle and an end… but not necessarily in that order.
- Jean-Luc Godard in: William L. Randall et al., Reading Our Lives : The Poetics of Growing Old: The Poetics of Growing Old, Oxford University Press, 5 May 2008, p. 42
- I am a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.
- Alfred Hitchcock in: Newsweek (11 June 1956)
- Drama is life with the dull bits cut out. A comedy is life with the dull bits cut out and the wit and humour maximised.
- Alfred Hitchcock in Jonathan Lynn [http://books.google.co.in/books?id=rst-2QEpfFcC&pg=PA174 Comedy Rules: From the Cambridge Footlights to Yes, Prime Minister], Faber & Faber, 18-Aug-2011, p. 174
- In the documentary the basic material has been created by God, whereas in the fiction film the director is a God; he must create life.
- The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. And one day you die. That is all there is to it
- Men are now beginning their careers as directors by working on commercials — which, if one cares to speculate on it, may be almost a one-sentence résumé of the future of American motion pictures.
- We are gradually being conditioned to accept violence as a sensual pleasure. The directors used to say they were showing us its real face and how ugly it was in order to sensitize us to its horrors. You don't have to be very keen to see that they are now in fact desensitizing us. They are saying that everyone is brutal, and the heroes must be as brutal as the villains or they turn into fools. There seems to be an assumption that if you're offended by movie brutality, you are somehow playing into the hands of the people who want censorship... Yet surely, when night after night atrocities are served up to us as entertainment, it's worth some anxiety. … How can people go on talking about the dazzling brilliance of movies and not notice that the directors are sucking up to the thugs in the audience?
- Is there something in druggy subjects that encourages [[directors to make imitation film noir? Film noir itself becomes an addiction.
- A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.
- What you have really got to learn is focus on learning as much about life and about various aspects of it first Then learn the techniques of making a movie, because that stuff you can pick up pretty quickly. But having a really good understanding of history, literature, psychology, sciences – is very, very important to actually being able to make movies.
- I'm stubborn and creative. Anybody who works in an artistic medium trying to create something does not like people looking over their shoulder going, 'No no no, make it blue! Make it green!' If you have a vision, you don't want a lot of outside influence. A director makes 100 decisions an hour. Students ask me how you know how to make the right decision, and I say to them, 'If you don't know how to make the right decision, you're not a director.' That's all there is to it. If you have to think about it, you can't direct something. There are directors out there who don't know how to make up their minds, but a true director has an idea in his head and can instantly weigh any decision against that and say, 'That's right, that's wrong.' You welcome feedback from talented people, not marketing people or executives who aren't creative
- George Lucas, in: "George Lucas: No, Star Wars is not supposed to be funny" interview by Emma Brockes in The Guardian, Thursday 16 May 2002
M - R
- I was always a filmmaker before I was anything else. If I was always anything, I was a storyteller, and it never really made much of a difference to me what medium I worked in.
- When you start out as a filmmaker, you do parodies, because you can’t really compete on a studio level. That's part of the reason I wanted to produce this film – Traveller.
- Bill Paxton in: Jonathan Litt Interview: Bill Paxton - No more days of 'Hey, aren't you Chet?', The Tech online eition, 2 May 1997
- Huston's skill as a director was always that the emotions in his films, whether love, fear, hatred, determination, holiness, greed or desperation, seemed genuinely felt, and he extracted some extraordinarily deep performances from actors not previously noted for extreme mobility.
- [As the clones fight the droids]
- Mike Nelson: D-do we have any idea who's fighting who?!
- Kevin Murphy: Yes, the director is fighting the audience and the audience is fighting back.
- Mike Nelson: Ah. And who's winning?
- Chad Vader: 20th Century Fox!
- RiffTrax, a series of comedy commentary tracks from Michael J. Nelson
S - Z
- And Later I Thought, I Can’t Think How Anyone Can Become a Director Without Learning the Craft of Cinematography.” –
- Gus Van Sant in: Jason Wood Talking movies: contemporary world filmmakers in interview, Wallflower, 2006, p. 200
- People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.
- Steven Spielberg in: Chimie One! the Book about Everything and Nothing!: Stories from One Male to All of You, Author House, 23 November 2011, p. 85
- I think it’s a very strange question that I have to defend myself. I don’t feel that. You are all my guests, it’s not the other way around, that’s how I feel.
- Lars Von Trier in: Eugene Hernandez Von Trier: "I am the best film director in the world", Indiewire, 18 May 2009
- A director must be a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant and a bastard.”
- There are three stages in making a film: there’s pre-production, where you’re planning everything, and you’re getting your sets, you’re getting your script right, you’re getting your cast right, and you’re getting the crew set. I have a lot of respect for the crews.
Then it’s production, where you go in and you put it all on film. That could take anywhere from, in my earlier films, as little as eighteen or twenty days to six months with a Star Trek or The Sound of Music, one of those. .
And then there’s post-production, where you’re there really for as much as three, four, five months on the editing, the re-recording, previews, and making changes after previews, and finally getting it ready to release.
- It has been my belief that political awareness can be raised as much by entertainment as by rhetoric. There is no reason why challenging themes and engaging stories have to be mutually exclusive – in fact, each can fuel the other. As a filmmaker, I want to entertain people first and foremost. If out of that comes a greater awareness and understanding of a time or a circumstance, then the hope is that change can happen. Obviously, a single piece of work can’t change the world, but what you try to do is add your voice to the chorus.”