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Wim Wenders’ 50 Rules of Filmmaking

Wim Wenders at a screening of Pina, at 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Wim Wenders at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Photo by Sam Javanrouh (Creative Commons license).

There’s always a wonderfully gentle, human core at the heart of Wim Wenders’ films.  Even when I don’t like one of his films, it’s indelibly his, a very personal statement from a filmmaker with a lot of integrity.  Wenders is an artist worth learning from.  So when I saw MovieMaker Magazine had his top 50 rules of filmmaking, I rushed over.  It’s a wonderful mix of the conceptual and the practical, and much of it is centered around understanding yourself and the people you’re working with.  My favorites:

1. You have a choice of being “in the business” or of making movies. If you’d rather do business, don’t hesitate. You’ll get richer, but you won’t have as much fun!

2. & 3. If you have nothing to say, don’t feel obliged to pretend you do. If you do have something to say, you’d better stick to it. (But then don’t give too many interviews.)

4. Respect your actors. Their job is 10 times more dangerous than yours.

6. Your continuity girl is always right about screen directions, jumping the axis and that sort of stuff. Don’t fight her. Bring her flowers. Continue reading