Ten Ways To Make Your Movie Great, From Ten Who Have Made Great Movies

Since I have spent quite a bit of energy and words on rambling about marketing a finished film, I'd like to backtrack. I'm about to start working on a feature-length script, and a nagging question has led me to today's post. The question is "what makes a good movie?" We all have our own ideas about this, but I'd like to give some space to ten people who have already been there. The following are ten quotes from ten masters of film, from whom we could learn a lot as we are formulating our own ideas. I don't care what kind of movie you want to make, this is all good advice.

Casting is 65 percent of directing.
John Frankenh

A good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes.
Howard Hawks

The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.
Alfred Hitchc

People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don't have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.
Steven Spielberg

Don't be too clever for an audience. Make it obvious. Make the subtleties obvious also.
Billy Wilder

A special effect is a tool, a means of telling a story. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.
George Lucas

What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things. That's why horror is such a powerful genre. All you have to do is ask yourself what frightens you and you'll know what frightens me.
John Car

A good film script should be able to do completely without dialogue.
David Mamet

I steal from every movie ever made.
Quentin Tarantino

Technique is of less interest than character and story.
William Friedkin

If these people are unknown to you, click on their photo for a complete filmography courtesy the Internet Movie Database. Much more than words can be divulged from their collective body of works, and I recommend watching their films. Like any art form, expression is a form of exposure, and you lay yourself bare and hope for affection, but brace for attack. You may not like all or any of the films from these directors, but we can all learn from them.