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Jon Baird's Manifesto: A Blueprint for Filmmaking Excellence

Updated: Mar 29

In the dazzling world of filmmaking, where dreams are captured frame by frame, Jon S. Baird stands as a luminary. From the prestigious realms of BBC Television to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Baird's journey has been a symphony of success, earning him accolades such as Golden Globe nominations and BAFTA awards. Collaborating with cinematic legends like Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle, Jim Carrey, and Mick Jagger, Baird has etched his name in the annals of filmmaking history. Today, we delve into the intricacies of Baird's Manifesto for Filmmaking – a guiding beacon for aspiring directors and a testament to his prowess in the industry.


Baird's first commandment for aspiring filmmakers is simple yet profound: Magic takes planning. While the enchantment of movie making may seem spontaneous, Baird emphasizes the importance of meticulous upfront planning. He urges filmmakers to visualize the entire movie with the end in mind, creating a roadmap to guide them through the creative process. "The more planning, the more creativity there is on set," says Baird, reminding us that a well-thought-out plan allows room for improvisation while keeping the project on track.


For Baird, filmmaking is, at its core, about storytelling. He advocates for purposeful storytelling that engages the audience on multiple levels. Storyboarding, according to Baird, serves as the compass, helping define the parameters and develop the movie within the constraints of time and resources. "Filmmaking is all about storytelling, knowing the beats of a story arc, and how to engage an audience," he affirms, underlining the importance of weaving narratives that resonate with the human experience.


Leading without frontiers is Baird's mantra for navigating the unpredictable terrains of filmmaking. He emphasizes the need for mental toughness, adaptability, and decisiveness. "The hardest thing about making a movie is going on set each day, where hundreds of people want an answer from you," says Baird. He encourages directors to provide clear direction, be creative on their feet, and have a bias for action to drive productivity and ensure success.


In the collaborative world of cinema, Baird's fourth tenet is collaboration. He advocates for standing on the shoulders of giants, surrounding oneself with the industry's best talent, and fostering a creative atmosphere that nurtures talent without fear. "A fatal mistake is to pretend that you have all the answers," cautions Baird. He implores aspiring filmmakers to be humble, ask questions, and learn through collaboration with the best talent and expertise available.


Baird's final decree encapsulates the essence of ambition and perseverance. "Start young, learn fast, and never give up," he advises. Dreams, according to Baird, are only realized through persistent effort over time. He encourages aspiring filmmakers to free themselves from external expectations, break boundaries, and immerse themselves in the craft from a young age. "Start as young as you can and get as much experience as possible in the craft of filmmaking," he urges, emphasizing the importance of hands-on experience and continuous learning.

In Jon S. Baird's Manifesto for Filmmaking, we find a treasure trove of wisdom forged through years of experience at the pinnacle of the cinematic world. Aspiring filmmakers would heed Baird's guidance – a roadmap that transcends the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, focusing on the heart and soul of storytelling, planning, collaboration, and the unwavering pursuit of dreams. In the grand tapestry of filmmaking, Jon S. Baird's manifesto is a guiding star for those who dare to dream and embark on the magical journey of bringing stories to life on the silver screen.

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Roy Sharples

Founder and CEO of Unknown Origins Creative Studios, is in the fight against unoriginality by unleashing creative bravery. Author of "Creativity Without Frontiers: How to make the invisible visible by lighting the way into the future."

Photo credit: Brian Smale

Attitude. Imagination. Execution.

Unknown Origins Creative Studios. All rights reserved © copyright 2021


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