21 Of The Greatest Quotes By Modern Filmmakers

There is a long list of great filmmakers to look up to – why not learn from them? Today, we’ve gathered 21 of the best inspirational quotes about film, directing, and filmmaking.

If you’re learning about filmmaking, or want to hone your skills, make sure to check out our guides to being a director, or our overview on the best paid jobs in film!

Quotes about directing film

“The characters in my films try to live honestly and make the most of the lives they’ve been given. I believe you must live honestly and develop your abilities to the full. People who do this are the real heroes.”

– Akira Kurosawa

Mike Nichols

“The only safe thing is to take a chance.”

Mike Nichols

“I just want to tell good stories in ways that will shine a light on lives rarely seen on screen, because stories can push humanity forward.”

– Nia Dacosta

“In film, we sculpt time, we sculpt behavior and we sculpt light.”

– David Fincher

“When you’re doing films, just with friends, with no money, on a shoestring. You have to be able to do all the jobs… And it’s a wonderful way to learn everything.”

– Christopher Nolan

Ang Lee on the set of his film
Ang Lee

“We need storytelling. Otherwise, life just goes on and on like the number Pi.”

Ang Lee

“If you have the opportunity for your art to meet activism, you shouldn’t pass that up when it comes your way.”

– Regina King

“I just made pictures I would’ve liked to see.”

– Billy Wilder

Advice For Filmmaker Quotes

Sometimes the best voice to listen to is the voice of experience. Check out these quotes for advice for filmmakers:

“In order to write scripts, you must first study the great novels and dramas of the world. You must consider why they are great. Where does the emotion come from that you feel as you read them? What degree of passion did the author have to have, what level of meticulousness did he have to command, in order to portray the characters and events as he did? You must read thoroughly, to the point where you can grasp all these things. You must also see the great films. You must read the great screenplays and study the film theories of the great directors. If your goal is to become a film director, you must master screenwriting.”

Akira Kurosawa

“There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.”

– Frank Capra

“A good director’s not sure when he gets on the set what he’s going to do. I like directors who come on the set and create something that’s a little dangerous, difficult or unusual. The more ambivalent you are and the more uncertain you are, then you can get something that you cannot anticipate.”

– Elia Kazan

“The writer, when he is also an artist, is someone who admits what others don’t dare reveal.”

Elia Kazan

“A director must be a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant and a bastard.”

– Billy Wilder

“You can’t just sit there and do the lines. You have to do something that is revealing and original.”

– Elia Kazan

“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.”

– Steven Spielberg

“The first thing you should do with an actor is not sign a contract with him. Take him to dinner. And then take him for a walk afterwards.”

Elia Kazan

“Everybody in the audience is an idiot, but taken together they’re a genius.”

– Billy Wilder

“I like directors who come on the set and create something that is a little dangerous, difficult, or unusual.”

– Elia Kazan

“Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.”

Roman Polanski

“The best director is the one you don’t see.” – Billy Wilder

“The physical life of the scene is determined by whether the set squeezes people together or whether the set has an escape place in it.” – Elia Kazan

Best Quotes About Filmmaking

If you’re struggling with motivation, hopefully these quotes about filmmaking that will make you remember why you wanted to make movies in the first place! The best quotes about filmmaking can be found below.

“Making movies is little like walking into a dark room. Some people stumble across furniture, others break their legs but some of see better in the dark than others. The ultimate trick is to convince, persuade.”

– Billy Wilder

“We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.”

– Walt Disney

Billy Wilder

“In certain pictures I do hope they will leave the cinema a little enriched, but I don’t make them pay a buck and a half and then ram a lecture down their throats.”

Billy Wilder

“If you have to have a job in this world, a high-priced movie star is a pretty good gig.”

– Tom Hanks

“Hollywood is great. I also think it’s stupid and small-minded and shortsighted.”

– David Fincher

“Eighty percent of success is turning up.”

– Woody Allen

Wrapping Up

These are some of our best quotes about filmmaking. Did we miss one? Comment your favorite below.

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