Paul Thomas Anderson, the American filmmaker whose movies have been nominated for 25 Academy Awards in total, has offered some advice to all young filmmakers attempting to make their way into the industry.
Anderson, who released his first feature film, Hard Eight, when he was 25 years of age, had already found his way into the world of cinema when he released his short film Cigarettes & Coffee six years prior. While he struggled to enjoy commercial success initially, Anderson’s breakthrough came just a year after Hard Eight when Boogie Nights chronicled the rise in the Golden Age of Porn.
That film sparked a change in the years that followed. Anderson’s movies such as There Will Be Blood, The Master, Inherent Vice, and Phantom Thread have earned the director continued success both critically and commercially. That success, it goes without saying, has been built on the solid foundations of close friends around him. More recently, Anderson’s close relationship with members of Radiohead has resulted in numerous collaborations, most notably today’s release of Thom Yorke’s short film ANIMA.
With that in mind, Anderson’s comments made at the Santa Barbara Film Festival directed toward young hopeful filmmakers make more sense than ever. Walking down the red carpet, Anderson spotted a young duo and approached them: “Are you guys doing interviews? Do you want to talk to me? Are you sure?” he said, as the pair responded with eager excitement. “You’re in middle school? That’s cool,” he added.
After a brief conversation which resulted in the youngsters explaining that they are considering a future in film, Anderson replied: “That’s a good idea,” before asking: “You gonna be writers? Directors?” to which they responded with a desire to become a director. “Yeah, that’s the good job,” he said gleefully.
Asking for some advice on how to break through into Hollywood, Anderson insisted the youngsters need to love what they do and have a passion for the art: “I think that I do what I love, I think I do it because I love it,” he said. “I just happened to be lucky enough to make money at it and get awards, I don’t do it because of that, I do it because I need to and it’s important for me to do.”
More notably, Anderson added: “Work with your friends, that what I say.”
See the full interview, below.