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Filmmaking Advice from BAFTA Winners

This blog will showcase a few pieces of filmmaking advice that this year’s BAFTA winners have given to young people aspiring to enter the filmmaking business. These pieces of advice will be collected from past interviews and articles that these winners have given, and overall they will showcase the methods of filmmakers that are truly at the top of their game.

Our Filmmaking Advice Experts 2024

Emma Stone

This year the winner in the in the Best Actress category was Emma Stone for her role in the bizzare sci-fi comedy Poor Things. Emma stone has built a strong career made of a plethora of iconic characters, and has since become a household name. With such a gleamingly successful career, she recalls what young filmmakers should do in order to start the foundation of their own successful Emma Stone - Filmmaking Advicecareers.

“Keep making your own stuff,” is one of the messages she pushes as some of the most important filmmaking advice. She believes that now more than ever in the age of the internet, do filmmakers have the ability to make and share their own content with the world without waiting for the green light from anyone else.

She also recounts some advice that she received as a young actress that she believes is completely misguiding. When she was just starting out in her career, an executive told her that when it comes to acting, “for women, it was a sprint, not a marathon,” which she now looks back on as some of the most garbage filmmaking advice she was ever given.

It is obvious that after building her career throughout the course of 20 years that this notion was complexly false, and as she puts it: “…as time goes on, life and work only get more interesting and more fulfilling.

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan was the director of one of the front-runners of this year’s awards season, Oppenheimer. Nolan is a filmmaker successful in creating his own renowned style that has tracked through his career and given him a reputation of delivering groundbreaking movies time and time again. Nolan tells of how the role of a Director carries a lot of weight, and what someone fulfilling this role must be prepared to do.Christopher Nolan - Filmmaking Advice

He states: “While it’s wonderful to have a great community of filmmakers around you, you have to be prepared to do everything yourself.” This is an extremely important piece of filmmaking advice to consider when directing a film, because although all roles are equally important in a technical sense, the director has to be “prepared to carry the flag for the film” as Nolan puts it.

He also regularly points out that all experience is useful experience when it comes to filmmaking. Whether its a short, feature length, or commercial being filmed, any time spent on a film set will increase your film knowledge as long as you are paying attention. Here is a link to an article where you can find more of Nolan’s advice along with that of multiple other directors.

Hoyte Van Hoytema

Adding to the extensive accolades that Oppenheimer has acquired this awards season, Hoyte Van Hoytema accepted the award for best Cinematography at the BAFTA Awards. He has become a partner in crime throughout a majority of Christopher Nolan’s career, and has worked with the likes of Jordan Peele and Spike Jonze. Van Hoytema has built quite the career for himself, but he is very vocal about how this success did not come quickly.Unknown 2

He urges aspiring cinematographers to keep at it in this piece of filmmaking advice: “… if you have the patience and the means to deal with the harsh reality of being unemployed for very long, you will eventually become a full-blown director of photography.” Like many other careers in filmmaking, persistence is key, because there is no direct route to success.

For some people success comes before they even graduate film school, and for some people their first hit docent come until they’re in their 50s. Overall all careers have their own courses, and it is important to refrain from comparing yours to others. Here is a link to an article with more of his advice.

Justine Triet

Writer/director Justine Triet took home the award for best original screenplay during this years BAFTA awards for her heavily acclaimed courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall. This film has been the most acclaimed out of Triet’s career as we’ve seen it as one of the headers of this years award season.Unknown 3

The role of a writer/director is one where the personal style of the auteur comes through the strongest, and Triet’s understanding of this responsibility is shown in this quote: “Don’t pretend to be another person. You see some directors who are not so aware of what they really want to say, really want to do.” She believes that the only way to create authentic work is to stay true to yourself, and refrain from catering to an audience or your peers.

Triet also points out the importance of organizing a good team: “To create a good team is the most complicated thing in the world. When you’re doing movies, you cannot do everything by yourself, so you have to be really well-surrounded.” So even though Nolan’s advice of being prepared to do everything yourself stands true, it is still important so surround yourself with talented people so that you don’t have to step in. Here is an article where she talks more about her filmmaking experience.

Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki, whose film The Boy and the Heron won best animated feature at this year’s awards, has become a true creative powerhouse. His work with the famed Studio Ghibli has produced some of the biggest titles in animated filmmaking, like Spirited Away and Ponyo. His movies are unique and hold a special place in the hearts of millions, and this is because he has a grasp on storytelling like no other.

One of his biggest pieces of filmmaking advice is a pacing strategy that we see used to great effect in his films: “If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busynUnknown 4ess, But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.”

Animation is such a beautiful art form, and Miyazaki points out that many directors don’t know how valuable it is to just let the viewer take it the environment that has been created. It lets the audience breathe, and overall makes it easier to settle into the world of the story.

With someone who has created such vibrant and unique worlds with his writing, many are left wondering where he gets his inspiration. When asked about this Miyazaki gives the answer: “I can’t just sit at my desk. Ideas come from the unexpected. I just do it because I find it interesting.” This shows that the question doesn’t really constitute a straightforward answer, because inspiration can come from anywhere. So as long as you live life in a way where you are taking everything in as much as you can, eventually inspiration will come.