How not to suck as a filmmaker. I’m serious.


I deal with filmmakers everyday who think they’re good because their “Friends and family” tell them so. I am usually the bad guy who delivers the reality check.

For God’s sake, stop with the “My Mom and my friends think I make good films” bullshit.

It’s delusional, it’s a fairy tale, it is American Idol in real life.

Look, the only way to figure out if you have the stuff to be a professional film maker, producer, icon or whatever the hell you call yourself, is to have your work reviewed critically by someone who has NO STAKE in your success as a filmmaker.

It’s a hard cold fact, filmmaking is not an art. Unless business is artistic, and yeah, I guess it can be. But the idea of getting into the film business, is to conduct a successful BUSINESS, not a fucking art show.

And stop putting all your hanging buddies, drinking pals, and super loveable cousins in your films.

If your friends/ family/ acquaintances cannot act, and they really, like, suck, then your film sucks. And since your film has your name written all over it, those objective,critical observers will, by association, say you suck.

I watch so many trailers from indie films in this region, and I just say to myself “How the fuck did they cast him/her in this film?”

Then you look at their Facebook page, and it’s apparent the director and this untalented actor/ friend/ family member might as well be tied together with steel wire and super glue.  As long as you value friendship over making a REAL film with COMMERCIAL viability, you will always suck.

Sure, you make your “crew” happy by putting them in the film, but you also waste your time with people who do not have the chops to perform professionally. Get talented people, no matter who they are.

The old saying “Don’t mix friends and business” is as true as it’s ever been, especially in the business of film.

And by the way, all of these new “filmmaker/director/auteurs” who have made five short films, then put “filmmaker/director/auteur” in the Facebook screen name, are destined for failure.

Why? Delusions of grandeur are just that: delusions.

Don’t put the cart before the horse. do something tangible, legitimate and COMMERCIALLY VIABLE before you make yourself out to be Steven Spielberg Jr.

Please: If filmmaking is  a hobby, get out of the FILM MAKING BUSINESS. They are two totally separate things.

And no, 48 hour film projects do not make you a filmmaker. That’s just friends having fun. nothing wrong with that, but don’t put fancy titles in your Facebook screen name if that’s all you ever do. And don’t start getting a holier than thou attitude. And don’t start giving acting and directing classes. God please. If I see another amateur director coming up with their whack-ass list of short film credits posing as an authority on filmmaking, I am going to crap.

This business is for those who take the bull by the horns, shoot a feature, and then stand back and watch the haters, the critics and the fans take their best shots–then we learn from our mistakes and move on.

Hell, I have made 39 years of mistakes, and I beat the hell out of myself worse than any British film critic/stalker ever did. And yes, he even criticized the titles of my films without ever having seen them.

Learn your craft, practice your craft, perfect your craft, then you will EVENTUALLY be a filmmaker. Even Mom will begin to see the difference.

And no, 8 friends in the woods and three days of shooting is not filmmaking. It’s three days in the woods with your friends.

Filmmaking is a lifetime of dedication. If you don’t have the time, don’t waste ours.

Life is too short to suck.


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