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Wes Anderson’s crucial advice for aspiring directors

Wes Anderson is one of those rare filmmakers whose work can be instantly recognised by someone even if the person isn’t a cinephile. Through masterpieces such as Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson has created a filmography which constantly challenges our conventional conceptions about film art.

Due to his unique aesthetic framework and his highly specific vision of what cinema is, Anderson stands out in the contemporary landscape of modern art. According to the director, this alienation is evident to him as well: “I certainly don’t feel like a part of any establishment because I do feel kind of like I’ve got my own style and voice.”

Many aspiring directors revisit Anderson’s brilliant cinematic explorations to find inspiration but the director wants young artists to examine their own lives and their pasts before setting out to make a movie. Anderson claimed that building from your own memories and your experiences is very important for making effective films.

“Almost every character in any movie I’ve ever made is based on somebody in real life, on a combination of real people,” Anderson said. The characters who inhabit Anderson’s eccentric cinematic universes are often labelled as quirky but the director actually creates them on the basis of his interactions with other people.

Adding to this conversation, Anderson pointed out that it was extremely important to follow this advice because it reveals who you are to the audience: “There’s some degree to which whatever is coming from my imagination is inspired by my own background and my own psychology. Without me controlling it or choosing to, I’m in the movies.”

The director also believes that finding your visual style is equally essential because it also conveys subtle details about your own psyche more effectively than anything else. This style is often influenced by your inspirations just like Moonrise Kingdom was the cinematic translation of Anderson’s childhood feelings.

He described it as “a sort of dream I had as a child of a romance that didn’t actually happen” while noting that external inspirations are also important, citing the likes of Hayao Miyazaki and Akira Kurosawa. Anderson concludes his message for aspiring artists by highlighting the essence of the drive that is necessary to make it in the industry, recalling his own experiences with the short film Bottle Rocket which he made with borrowed money but it eventually paved his way toward greater success.

Watch the video below.