Citations of directors

You will find below some quotes from some of the filmmakers of the most talented, or famous, that film is known. Each carries a unique perspective on the cinema, and it is not impossible to die find conflicting advice, even among the greatest film-makers. For texts that are more driven to these filmmakers, you can also check out their various master classes.

Quotes from the filmmakers on the cinema as an art

The film feels so much like the other arts ; if there are features eminently literary, there are also features theater, a philosophical aspect, attributes, borrowed from painting, to sculpture, to music.

Quote from Akira Kurosawa

A film is the expression of a unique vision – the more it is personal, therefore, and the more it approaches the status of a work of art which means that it will remain longer to the test of time.

Quote from Martin Scorsese

The art is in the infinite detail.

Quote by Federico Fellini

In a certain way, all forms of art are involved in a film.

Quote by Sydney Pollack

The screen is a support magic. It has so much of strength that it can hold the attention by transmitting emotions and moods like no other art form can fight.

Quote from Stanley Kubrick


Quotes from filmmakers about the script and the writing

The writing is the most difficult part… the least understood and the least noticed.

Quote by Frank Capra

You can dress it up but we always see that a movie is good when the scenario is.

Quote from Curtis Hanson

As a director, you must be like a guard dog on the shoot and you should be able to keep in mind the entire scenario. If you miss a detail, it is fucked up.

Quote from Spike Jonze

The necessity to conceptualise has to come very early as the definition of a development focus of the film is done right from the start. This will allow you to be free for everything that follows.

Quote from Walter Salles

The beginning of each entry is a return to the starting point. And the starting point, it is a place where you feel very alone. A place where none of your past accomplishments does not count.

Quote from Quentin Tarantino

There is not the shadow of a doubt that a good script is absolutely essential, maybe the essential for a film.

Quote by Sydney Pollack

If you do déconnez not with the scenario, usually all goes well.

Quote from Steven Soderbergh


Quotes from directors about actors

An actor, you can make him do anything, then, automatically, we have an idea of contempt.

Quote from Maurice Pialat

Extract of the magazine Elle – October 30, 1995

Before turning, I do know all the actors where we’re going with each scene, what is the intent and what we’re going to try to get.

Quote by John Boorman

Casting is 65% of the direction of actors.

Quote from John Frankenheimer

I love to repeat actors, with scenes that are not in the scenario or who will not be in the film because we are trying to establish their characters and that to me is a good interpretation it is to know how to react.

Quote from Jim Jarmusch

In the discussions and the rehearsals, there’s this magical moment where actors catch a current. They are on the right track. If they get it really, everything they do and will from then on will just.

Quote from David Lynch

The best performers intuitively sense the needs of other actors and make do.

Quote from Christopher Nolan

I like actors who are good pantomimes, and who can convey a lot more through their presence and their attitude as by the dialogues.

Quote from Guillermo Del Toro

The first job of a director is to create an atmosphere that the actors can express themselves and create. For this you need to communicate. Communication at all levels, that is the achievement.

Quote from William Friedkin

The characters are the result of two essential things. We define it clearly through their dialogues and then we take it all back when actors interpret them.

Quote from Joel Coen

I would not say that I am someone who is in control of everything. For example, when I work with actors, I do their not say exactly what I want because I want them to surprise me. I encourage them to change some of the dialogue in the scenario if they need it.

Alejandro Amenabar

When I direct actors, I ask them the maximum, and I tell them when it is too much. It is always easier to ask them to do less than push a little more.

Quote from Alexander Payne

An exception, a quote from a player :

When an actor plays a scene exactly as the director asks him, he’s not playing: he follows instructions. Anyone, whether he is physically fit, can do this.

Quote from James Dean


Quotes from filmmakers about film and other topics

You can’t change the political vision of people with a film, but you can at least lead to a political discussion.

Quote by Costa-Gavras

Anyone who has had the privilege of making a movie is aware that it is like trying to write War and Peace on a autotamponneuse in an amusement park. But when finally the task is done well, few things in life can compare to what it feels like then.

Quote from Stanley Kubrick

It is possible to derive a deep enjoyment of all things if one is willing to spend a bit of time to learn more.

Quote from Francis Ford Coppola

I invented nothing, I show what I see.

Quote by Robert Altman

Extract from the journal Le Figaro – January 3, 2001

In the silence, we can say so many things.

Quote of Michelangelo Antonioni

I prefer to idealize the real, otherwise why go to the cinema ?

Quote of Jacques Demy

The word realism does not mean anything. To a certain extent, is realistic. There is no border between the imaginary and the real.

Quote by Federico Fellini

When you come to elsewhere, you see things that those who are more familiar with the environment do not notice more.

Quote by Louis Malle

In France, I’m a writer, in Germany, I am a maker of film, in the Uk, I am a director of horror, the United States, I am a tramp.

Quote from John Howard Carpenter

The image is not some idea expressed by the director, but a whole world sparkled in a drop of water.

Quote from Andrei Tarkovsky

My life, my readings, everything for me revolves around the cinema. So for me, cinema is life, and vice-versa.

Quote from Sergio Leone

A movie, it is actually dramatized. The work of the director is to make it plausible without that the spectators are aware of the technique.

Quote of David Lean

For me, watching a good movie, it’s like going to the amusement park. My worst fear, making a film, it is that people think that it was not worth the shot.

Quote by Darren Aronofsky

If you want to make the staging, do not buy self. Take the metro, the bus or walk. Take a closer look at the people who surround you.

Quote from Fritz Lang

There is the visible and the invisible. If you do shoot the visible, it is a tv movie that you made. Quote from Jean-Luc Godard

Of course, it should be fine ; but make sure that it is obvious.

Quote from Billy Wilder

Some people say that there are millions of way of filming a scene. I don’t think, maybe two or three ways. All the others are false.

Quote from David Fincher

He should really work with someone if you think it will become a collaborator that understands what you do and how you do it.

Quote from John Frankenheimer

I’ve never understood the term copyright, because as a film it is a huge team work. I encourage the team to contribute to the film as much as possible. I believe that is the job of a filmmaker, a kind of funnel for all the creative ideas are centralized in a single point of view.

Quote from Peter Jackson

The films that have influenced me are those that tell their story more by the image than by words.

Quote from Sam Mendes

When possible, I like to work with the same people with the same interests as me and the same aesthetic.

Quote from Spike Lee

When I go to the cinema, I am often frustrated because I can guess what it will happen after about 10 minutes of film. So, when I’m working on a project, I’m always looking for the element of surprise.

Quote from Sergio Leone

The sense of my movies always comes to the assembly, whatever happens.

Quote from Jean-Luc Godard

When I go to see a movie, I usually want to be taken to another world.

Quote by Darren Aronofsky

This is not the reality that matters in a film but what the imagination can do with them. Quote by Charlie Chaplin

The films are first and foremost a way of connecting beings and things.

Quote from Emir Kusturica

Whenever you’re shooting a documentary, you have to be in the moment and you need to be able to control it enough to capture what is happening.

Quote from Brian De Palma

You must keep faith in the fact that there are a lot of intelligent people who are actively looking for something interesting, people who have been disappointed too often.

Quote from Richard Linklater

Being surrounded by creative people encourage you to be.

Quote of Michel Gondry

A lot of people ask me what time I’ll be, finally, a movie with real people. But what is the reality ?

Quote by Tim Burton

When I make a film, I have a goal : the originality, it lies in the story or in the form. For me, the realization is apparent still in a learning process. The more I shoot, the more I progress.

Quote from Johnnie To

When we know how to master time, we can make believe that a second lasts for thirty, and vice-versa. I don’t really use editing or special effects. It is this grip on all the time I used to march to the beat of my movies.

Quote from Johnnie To

The 1st assistant director is so important that its choice is critical for the film.

Quote from John Frankenheimer

Ask a man who tells stories to take account of the likelihood seems to me to be as ridiculous as to ask a figurative painter to represent things with accuracy.

Quote by Alfred Hitchcock

The filmmaker thinks with the eyes and the ears, the painter with the hands. Literature is a refuge. She deepened the vision of the world.

Quote from Jean Luc Godard

The movies, the bad weather is terribly photogenic, because it is dangerous. Quote from Claude Lelouch

I’m sure some people will say “why do it ?” and I answer “why not ?”. The film industry in general uses an outdated model, worse than that, ineffective.

Quote from Steven Soderbergh

A lot of directors don’t know what they want to do. All the good directors I’ve seen and admired knew exactly what they wanted to do. They sat not there to think about.

Quote by John Milius

The public has an appetite for everything to do with the imaginary, everything that is far from reality and that the establishment allows you to.

Quote from Steven Spielberg

The essence of cinema is editing. It is the combination of the moments of human emotions, put in image, and forming a kind of alchemy.

Quote from Francis Ford Coppola

The music is 50% of a movie.

Quote from George Lucas

If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed.

Quote from Stanley Kubrick

The question is whether we give something to the public that aims to make it more happy or something that matches to the truth of the matter.

Quote from Stanley Kubrick

We make films for the same reason that you take on trips.

Quote from Michael Cimino

It is necessary to turn each film as if it were the last.

Quote from Ingmar Bergman

To go further

You can learn more about the course and the cinema of these directors, in particular via the masterclass of great directors published on the website. You can also get books like “Action! The secrets of the great directors” or “Business Director : when the masters of cinema to tell“.

Keywords: citations, directors, quotes filming

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top