5 Tips To Make You A Better Filmmaker Right Now – Matt Eskandari

5 Tips To Make You A Better Filmmaker Right Now – Matt Eskandari

Film Courage: Can you share 5 lessons that
will help someone be a better filmmaker right now? Matt Eskandari, Writer/Director/Producer:
Five lessons that will make you a better filmmaker right now is first trust your actors. Actors are always going to come in there to
try to elevate the material, to try and create better work for you. So always trust your actors. Number 2 – Don’t get so trapped on what
your vision is that you’re so focused on it you can’t listen to otters ideas or people
because that will limit what you can get. Third is don’t give up you know what I mean
if things aren’t exactly going your way that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something
right around the corner or something you can do to kind of get to that quicker. I think another tip is to read a lot of scripts. I think reading scripts and then watching
the film actually made off of the scripts you will learn so much about how the story
was actually executed. It’s one thing to see a movie and be like
“Oh this is how I would have done it.” Or “This is how they should have done it.” But when you read the actual material that
it was based on (the blueprint itself) and then see “Oh? That was interesting the way the director
executed that scene or the blocking in that scene was different than the way I would have
blocked it but that was interesting. Another bit of advice that I would give is
edit projects as much as you can because the more as a director you’re on set thinking
as an editor, the faster you will be, the more concise you will be and the more able
you will get what you need on set because you’ve spent that time in the edit bay seeing
what works, seeing how cuts and takes work and cut get together and elements you kind
of don’t need and things that you do need really helps with that. So I think cutting projects, cutting stuff
on your own is really essential. I remember one of the things that I did in
film school was I would take a scene from from whatever your favorite movies are whether
it’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or THE GODFATHER or whatever, you take those films and you
take a scene and drop it on the [editing software] timeline and you just find all of the cuts
for that scene and you look at it in whatever editing program you are using and you’re
like “Oh? So they cut to that…to that…to that.” And it really is an invaluable way to see
how a scene plays out. How cuts can get either shorter or faster. How the director and the editor creates suspense
or tension by the way that the cuts are laid out in the scene. That was a really invaluable lesson is by
looking at other projects and seeing how they were cut. Film Courage: That’s excellent. Do you remember the films you used to watch
again [in film school]? Some of the ones that really stuck out to
you? Matt: It’s hard for me to choose five films
or just a list of films that kind of left an impression on me as a filmmaker. I think more than anything it’s the directors
themselves and the body of work that I look back on it and get inspiration from. Like look at [Stanley] Kubrick and how he
was able to tap into different genres like horror, the war films and all of those different
genres that he touched on. How he would uniquely shoot a scene was interesting. This would always give me inspiration. I was like “That was a different way to
shoot that scene?” So I’m now trying to think of other directors
or other filmmakers and see how at their work they might have approached a similar scene
and try to be like “Oh that’s different? I never would have thought of that?” But that all kind of inspired me as a filmmaker
I mean Kubrick, Spielberg, Kurosawa, Christopher Nolan those are the type of filmmakers where
their work is so unique and such a strong voice that anytime I need inspiration and
want to just kind of draw back into that creative well I can just look at any of their films
and find something unique or different that will help motivate and inspire me. Film Courage: Speaking of chess (we talked
about it earlier in the interview) Kubrick used to play chess for money? Matt: Kubrick approached the filmmaking process
like a chess game, every problem that came at him was another move on the board. He would always try to anticipate two steps
ahead, other things that could happen. Chess is not just an analogy for filmmaking,
it’s really an analogy for life where if you can become a good chess player (if you
put yourself in that mindset) you can become a better filmmaker and hopefully a better
person because you can kind of look at life from that perspective. Film Courage: He [Kubrick] had a very unique
way of looking at the world…a contrarian view in a lot of ways (from interview with
him). Very interesting guy. Matt: Totally. Fascinating figure.

6 thoughts on “5 Tips To Make You A Better Filmmaker Right Now – Matt Eskandari

  1. 100% agree that you have to read. READ, READ, READ. Read as many scripts as you can, and then read some more. Watching the movie is great, but when you read the screenplay it will help you understand why the movie was made the way it was when you watch it again. I just recently read the scripts for both "Minority Report" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," and I get why Scott Frank and Charlie Kaufman wrote both scripts the way they did, but also why Steven Spielberg and Michel Gondry directed them that way.

  2. All great ideas. But my best take away is dropping scenes on a timeline. I'd never thought of doing that. Great video as always.

  3. I literally just shot my first short film, it's in the editing process. And this guy is right! Very good and didn't have to think too hard about his answer so that makes me respect him even more.

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