Getting Started In Directing: Top Ten Tips

directorsHannah Clarkson went along to Sunday’s Insight Sessions on Getting Started In Directing, to listen to a panel of directors who have recently cracked the industry as they discussed what is involved in directing and how they got to where they are today. Tremendous insights and great advice were to be mined from Drama and commercials director Will McGregor (Poldark, MisFits), BAFTA Breakthrough Destiny Ekaragha, Cambridge alumnus Matthew Knott, and PROJECT TRIDENT member and Cambridge local, Carl Peck. Here are their Top Ten Tips:

  1. Studying film forces you to open your eyes to things you wouldn’t otherwise see. Keep creating – that is your film school. (Destiny)
  1. Don’t worry which way you’re learning – accept that you are on an extensive learning curve that starts before you even know you want to direct. Don’t look upwards, look around – those are the people who will teach you the most. (Matthew)
  1. Working on commercial films, you clock up hours, get better at your job. But you do pick up bad habits too – you can become a bit of a pushover and follow other people’s vision. (Will)
  1. Anything that’s not a passion project can be seen as an opportunity to learn different things. (Matthew)
  1. Be proactive – if you want to do something, get on with it and figure out how along the way. (Carl)
  1. Use what you have. Any location can look fancy, it depends how you shoot it. You’re creatives, so create! (Destiny)

“You’re creatives, so create!”

  1. Use the internet – put your work in front of people, where they will see it. (Will)
  1. Get an agent – their job and skill is to pitch you, and it adds to your credibility. (Matthew)
  1. Know that you’ll be broke for a while. Dream big, and be around people who believe those dreams. You are broke because you made a choice – you have to suffer for the dream. (Destiny)
  1. Know your story inside-out. Then you will be able to defend it. We’re taught that women should be quiet, but this is false – have a voice! (Destiny)

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