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NO BULLSHIT: How to break into Hollywood?

Specifically as a film director? Anyone have any practical answers? Spare me the hardcore pessimism, please.

FYI, I KNOW it's going to be hard as hell. Harder than anything else I could possibly do. Still...I just want to know how it can be done. Any advice is appreciated.

FYI #2, I've got one short film under my belt and currently working on a no-budget feature so I'm not the laziest person in the world, if that helps.

by Anonymousreply 4104/24/2013

You find talented people. You get funding. You make movies. You submit to festivals. You network. You win the lottery.

by Anonymousreply 104/22/2013

You have three real options.

1) Know people in the business 2) Have a lot of money 3) Actually be damn good, create some content and get it out there on the internet, build a following.

by Anonymousreply 204/22/2013

There's no magic bullet, but these are elements I've seen:

You've got to be willing to work for free A LOT.

You've got to network and be sociable.

Try your hand at music videos. Bands are always looking for low-to-no budget videos that look like they were expensive to make.

Create a visual language that's uniquely yours, or does a great job at imitating someone else who is successful.

Make short films and get them seen on YouTube.

Know about all the different aspects of production, from camera lenses to editing, lighting, visual effects, composition, sound, animation, makeup, producing.

Be clear in communicating your ideas. You'll never get a decent film made if your crew has no idea what you want from them.

by Anonymousreply 304/23/2013

Go to film school at Tisch - NYU or at USC.

Even then, most graduates from those places totally disappear.

by Anonymousreply 404/23/2013

Totally agree with r3, but I would also add writing to that list.

While unique visual imagery is obviously key for a director, good storytelling is always in demand.

Directors who don't (or can't) writer their own material are usually at a disadvantage because they tend to rely on the studio system to find and develop projects.

Someone like Fincher is at the mercy of studios because he picks projects out of their books.

by Anonymousreply 604/23/2013

Get 5 more short films and 2 more no-budget features under you belt.

And do those in a city where you can afford to live while working for free or next to nothing.

by Anonymousreply 704/23/2013

How are your cocksucking skills?

by Anonymousreply 804/23/2013

Wear tight sweaters and sip chocolate malteds in Schwab's Drugstore.

by Anonymousreply 904/23/2013

Knew well several extremely talented wannabe directors (all ex-beaus) without connections.

1) Went to USC film school, and got in because he'd already had a stack of photog awards. His student films were tops in national competition. On progress to make his 1st million before age 30 in ad photog campaigns in England, not in film, as he didn't want to beg. 2) Similar story but started "Friendly Computer" business post USC, teaching computer literacy in South America. Also didn't want to be a grunt. 3) Went from working for an ad making firm, to filming commercials, to doing travel spots, to non-union bigger commercials, to low level films. He was the best diplomatic of the 3.

All were total workaholics, and easily survived on very little sleep, the norm at USC.

by Anonymousreply 1004/23/2013

Be born into a famous family.

by Anonymousreply 1104/23/2013

Marry Madonna. It's been done before.

by Anonymousreply 1204/23/2013

R12, Guy Ritchie did "Lock, Stock..." years before he married Madonna. He's actually a good example of how to do it -- network, write, have the nerve to lie about funding in order to earn funding, and be born into a well-off family.

by Anonymousreply 1304/23/2013

Be 16 and crash a Bryan Singer party.

by Anonymousreply 1404/23/2013

Become an actor, and get into a movie franchise. When they simply can't make the latest sequel without you, refuse to sign unless they make you a second unit director as well as an actor.

by Anonymousreply 1504/23/2013

Lindsay Lohan is avail for your directorial debut.

by Anonymousreply 1604/23/2013

You've got to have a positive attitude because you are owed nothing.

by Anonymousreply 1704/23/2013

Be born with enough money to survive the struggle.

by Anonymousreply 1804/23/2013

Been trying for 16 years. Talent, no luck. Be willing to put in more time than me.

by Anonymousreply 1904/23/2013

OP? If you have to ask you can't afford the lingerie.

Seriously, if you lack the imagination and the drive to figure it out on your own, you're unlikely to achieve your stated goal of being a director.

by Anonymousreply 2004/23/2013

Be the son or daughter of Ivan Reitman, Lawrence Kasdan or Francis Ford Coppola. Pray Michael Bay never has children.

by Anonymousreply 2104/23/2013

Bay only gets it by paying for it, in casting or cash. I doubt he'll reproduce.

I never heard any knocked up/abortion gossip either. (Unless an insider would be kind enough to share...)

Ironically, he is rumoured to be John Frankenheimer's son. Supposedly, he had a blood test that was negative, but this was before DNA.

by Anonymousreply 2204/23/2013

Write something you can direct, OP.

by Anonymousreply 2304/23/2013

Run a smallish prestigious theatre in London and while there direct a few hits, and of course make serious contacts.

by Anonymousreply 2404/23/2013

Yes going to one of the top tier, legitimate film schools is one way to develop connections and get noticed. Bu tif you're a filmmaker, you can start out with the festival circuit.

Take your short film, or your documentary, or feature length movie, and start submitting it. Doesn't have to be for competition, there are other categories of submissions. Find out.

There are thousands of film festivals out here. I'm not talking about Cannes or Venice. There are others. Many are simply events to attract tourists, and have nothing to do with "making it in Hollywood."

Others are legit, and have a good solid reputation like Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles etc. Of course there's Sundance too, and Toronto, they still provide newcomers with opportunities to network, participate, and get exposure. Go to the panel discussions, and the pitch sessions. Listen and observe. Inform yourself.

by Anonymousreply 2504/23/2013

Learn how to expertly RIDE a cock. None of this doggie style or missionary shit. Fat white guys who will decide your fate want to lay there while you service them, and typically that means you do all the work. Also as is the new trend in Hollyweird, you will be required to clean off that cock so make sure your douching skills are polished and professional.

by Anonymousreply 2604/23/2013

There are so many "directors" out there putting their shit in film festivals. Think about how many have actually "made it" from going that route. You only hear of one, maybe two people who did a film, put it in film festivals and got discovered. The truth is, film festivals are a HUGE scam. They charge you to enter your film so they make money off you even if your film doesn't get in.

The truth of how to break into Hollywood is to know someone who cares enough about you to hire you. It doesn't matter if you have talent or not.

by Anonymousreply 2704/23/2013

Oh, OP. (shakes head, makes clucking noises)

How old are you? Very, very young, I hope.

One way to break into directing films in Hollywood is to be very, very well connected with at least a few of the industry's power brokers. Familial connections especially help. The more generations of your family that have been active and successful in Hollywood, the better.

That's one way.

Another way is...uh...hmmm. There is no other way.

Now you know! Please make a note of it.

by Anonymousreply 2804/23/2013

I wouldn't know how to make it in Hollywood, but:

Continue with your current career, OP, for financial support. Look at Hollywood as an extra job.

[quote]Write something you can direct, OP.

I said that before and I'd like to repeat it. Write a script (something that could be produced cheaply) and shop it around. Join any necessary unions.

by Anonymousreply 2904/23/2013

[quote]I've got one short film under my belt and currently working on a no-budget feature so I'm not the laziest person in the world, if that helps.

Oh! A hard-working self-starter! Make sure you put that at the top of your résumé. That'll really make you stand out from the sea of lazy do-nothings that Hollywood's been courting for decades.

Seriously, the way you describe yourself here is identical to 99.99999% of your competitors. The only people who don't describe themselves as impressive for doing one short film that nobody saw are the ones who've actually done real work that has been seen, in TV, advertising, documentaries or film.

by Anonymousreply 3004/23/2013

Old Hollywood: sell coke. New Hollywood: sell meth.

by Anonymousreply 3104/23/2013

You're wrong, R27. Scams can be found anywhere, they aren't a singular feature of legitimate film festivals.

The film festival route is a good way to break in, meet people, network, and start getting to understand and appreciate the entire filmmaking process, including getting your movie seen and figuring out how to distribute it.

Young filmmakers meet one another, share war stories, exchange information, talk about techniques, and refer you to other people who know good editors, good cinematographers, etc.

The right film festivals are not a waste of time. I'd strongly suggest you hit the Chicago Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, and also look into IFC.

Anyone who's ever watched the Independent Spirit awards knows there are a lot of young, dedicated filmmakers out here and a lot of unusual funding sources, corporate grants, and $$$ to be found. You have to develop fluency in the language of the filmmaker.

by Anonymousreply 3204/23/2013

Write a best selling book. For real. You'll have a shitload of bargaining power. Also, keep making short films. Network your ass off. Make music videos, especially with up and coming bands.

by Anonymousreply 3304/23/2013

Rule #1: Never, EVER ask for career advice from the DataLounge.

by Anonymousreply 3404/23/2013

[quote]FYI #2, I've got one short film under my belt and currently working on a no-budget feature so I'm not the laziest person in the world, if that helps.

OP, if anything under your belt is short then you don't stand a chance.

by Anonymousreply 3504/23/2013

if you can do something that can make other people money your in.

by Anonymousreply 3604/23/2013

See R2, option one.

It's always who you know, OP.

If you don't know anyone, which I suspect is the case, then either deal good drugs to the right people or suck the right cocks. Then you'll know some people.

Talent and hard work are useless if you can't get through the door.

by Anonymousreply 3704/24/2013

Please name me one director besides Rodriquez, Smith and Tarentino that made it big off of a film festival route. Bonus points if you can name a female director who did.

by Anonymousreply 3804/24/2013

r38, Darren Aronofsky, Christopher Nolan (Following, Memento) and Debra Granik?

by Anonymousreply 3904/24/2013

My last picture was about Okies in the Dust Bowl. You'd never know it, 'cause when it reached the screen, the whole thing played on a torpedo boat.

by Anonymousreply 4004/24/2013

You should try in network television, OP. It's much easier, though the job may not be as creative, to become a TV director. Stick with a show for a couple of season as an assistant, kiss ass, engage as part of the system, hide any individualism... then ask to direct an episode.

by Anonymousreply 4104/24/2013
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