Ten Rules for Better Filmmaking

Over the past months I've looked in depth at what I don't like in specific films. What what can we do to make better films? These are ten suggestions which I view as generally good practice. I hope that what I cover here will serve as a brief style guide for improved filmmaking. Maybe, in time, I'll look at each one in the depth that it deserves.

  1. The first goal of any filmmaker should be to strive for clarity.
  2. Failing clarity, any filmmaker can dedicate himself to the truth for that is beautiful in its own right.
  3. Always cut before using a different edit.
  4. Never cut unmotivated.
  5. If a scene is well written, and the actors are good, let the actors act and follow the action rather than look for a work around.
  6. When problems arise design around them; upon encountering adversity, always create art.
  7. Always move the camera, but move it only as much as is necessary.
  8. It is never too late to rewrite. But always rewrite before improvising and then leave improvising to the actors.
  9. If nothing else, time is a limited resource on set. Always do another take, but never do a take that is unnecessary. In time, if not in footage, takes should be models of efficiency.
  10. As with anything, the rules are made to be broken, rarely to be flaunted, and never to be flagrantly disregarded for the sake of nothing.