Updated: Apr 29, 2022
The Art and Science of FILMMAKING
From BBC Television to Hollywood movie director, Golden Globe nominee, and BAFTA award winner, to collaborator with Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle, Jim Carrey, Mick Jagger, and a host of award-winning actors, filmmaker Jon S. Baird has directed all artistic and dramatic aspects of filmmaking by visualizing screenplays, choosing the cast, locations, and production design, and guiding technical experts and actors to bring it all to life.
The manifesto for filmmaking is:
1 MAGIC TAKES PLANNING
Although the creative process for movie making may appear magical, especially where ideas can come from and how they are brought to form. The reality is ideas only come to life by doing the work. Put the effort and time into upfront planning by visualizing the entire movie with the end in mind. Then work back from the outcome you want to determine your priorities and the critical path on how to get there in a specific order and sequence of events. Accept it can and will change. Be agile and adaptive as you iterate and learn. Staying focused, motivated, and disciplined.
"The more planning, the more creativity there is on set. Falling back on a plan doesn't mean that everything needs to be according to plan. There is room for improvisation. put the time in at the beginning. Everything is in the plan."
2 PURPOSEFUL STORYTELLING
A well-told story engages the mind, heart, and soul by conveying purpose and meaning that help us understand ourselves and find common ground with others. Turning what we see into insights that spread. Storyboarding helps define a story's parameters and how to 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."
3 LEAD WITHOUT FRONTIERS
Know where to look, what questions to ask, and have the mental toughness to persist in the face of setback as you navigate through the unknown towards invisible horizons. It is about being creative on your feet by thinking and adapting quickly. Providing clarity, generating energy, and having a bias for action which force multiples productivity and drives success.
"The hardest thing about making a movie is going on set each day, where hundreds of people want an answer from you. Be decisive and provide clear direction. Because if you don't, you'll get crucified."
Stand on the shoulders of giants by surrounding yourself with the industry's best talent, seeking their counsel, capitalizing on their strengths, expertise, and insights by putting it into action as a collective unit, and fostering a creative atmosphere that nurtures talent to create without fear.
"A fatal mistake is to pretend that you have all the answers. You have to be the one who asks the questions and be humble enough to say; "I don't know" Learn through collaborating with the best talent and expertise YOU CAN FIND."
5 DREAM IT. DO IT.
Start young, learn fast, and never give up. Perfection comes with persistence and practice over time; the key is to just start. Dreams are only realized through doing the work. Free yourself from others' expectations and walk away from the games and boundaries they impose upon you.
"Start as young as you can and get as much experience as possible in the craft of filmmaking by watching movies, reading about films, writing scripts, and experimenting by making movies with your phone."
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Founder and CEO of Unknown Origins, a creative studio on a mission to save the world from unoriginality by unleashing the power of creativity. 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.
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