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Film

Crucial filmmaking advice from Quentin Tarantino and Sam Raimi

Quentin Tarantino and Sam Raimi are two of the most prominent American filmmakers of their generation, known for producing unforgettable cult classics such as Pulp Fiction and Evil Dead. Apart from their incredible directorial credentials, they both share a common trait that is essential for any aspiring filmmaker – an unparalleled and relentlessly unending passion for appreciating cinema and indulging in the craft.

At the 2006 Comic-Con in San Diego, a person who recently moved to Los Angeles with the dreams of becoming a top director attended the Q&A session and asked Sam Raimi for tips on how to go about achieving that dream. That individual was extremely lucky because Raimi ended up listing out a detailed plan that every student of the craft show follow without fail if they want to be successful.

Raimi said: “My advice to young filmmakers is to make a movie every week in Super 8 or high-def, write every night and every weekend, shoot for two days. Work with actors, work with a little 1000 watt lighting kit, set it up, set up your shots, get a tripod. Shoot a little scene, work with the actors, cut those scenes together and then the next weekend, [after having] worked on it with sound and looping and put some music to it.”

Adding, “Get a response from the audience and see where it’s slow and where it doesn’t work and where your ideas weren’t being communicated properly. Learn from that experience [of] sitting in with the crowd and then go out make another picture the next weekend. Just keep doing it, make films no matter what anybody says and you’ll be a filmmaker.”

At the same Comic-Con, Quentin Tarantino also attended a panel and he encouraged people to pick up a camera and shoot films without the fear of failure. While revealing his own experiences with disappointment and starting out as a director, Tarantino claimed that he learnt more from botching projects than he would have ever learnt at film school.

Tarantino said: “If you have the passion to do it and you do it and it doesn’t work out, [it’s fine]. I worked for three years on a 16 mm film that ended up becoming nothing but guitar picks. I was very disappointed when I realised that it wasn’t any good but it was my film school and I got away really cheap.

“When it was all over, I knew how to make a movie. I didn’t wanna show anybody that but I had the experience. [It was] a lot cheaper than [going to] film school.”

Watch the various panels from the 2006 Comic-Con at San Diego below, featuring sage advice from top filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Sam Raimi among many others.