30 Female Filmmakers Share Their Top Secrets To Success

Saturday 29 September 2018

If you're having one of those moments - which we ALL do from time to time - where you can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel, then look no further!

Take it from the pro's, these ladies have been there and helped pave the way for more female filmmakers to come. So sit back, relax and enjoy these 30 inspirational filmmaking tips from some of the most established, influential and ground-breaking female filmmakers out there! 

1.Sofia Coppola
I try to just make what I want to make or what I would want to see. I try not to think about the audience too much.

2. Ava DuVernay
Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal. 

3. Nancy Meyers
I've always been blessed with confidence. I am a glass-half-full person. My first movie, 'Private Benjamin,' got turned down by every studio until the very last one, but I just kept thinking, 'Why are you people not seeing that this is a hit movie? What is wrong with you?'

4. Sissy Spacek
I don't have any regrets, because I think life is like a creek. It kind of meanders along, and you instinctively do the things you are meant to do. There's no great plan except doing really good scripts, meeting great filmmakers.

5. Kathryn Bigelow
It's irrelevant who or what directed a movie; the important thing is that you either respond to it or you don't. 

6. Angelina Jolie 
Make bold choices and make mistakes. It's all those things that add up to the person you become. 

7. Lynn Shelton
For me, I want to see diversity in storytelling sources because we live in a very diverse society, and the stories are for the whole society. That's really important

8. Kathleen Kennedy
The most important thing is to have a point of view and have something to say. That is important if you are filmmaker or artist. That means you have to experience the world. 

9. Toni Collette
I want variety. I want versatility. Otherwise, I'm wasting the opportunity of being an actor, which is all about variation and change.

10. Oprah Winfrey 
Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it. 

11. Dakota Fanning
I think sometimes people can get lost in the bigger special effects, science fiction, robot stuff, and those are cool and fun to watch, too, but I think it's so important to sometimes step back and watch something that's about life and human interaction. 

12. Zoe Saldana
I just want to be a part of great stories, whether I'm part of an amazing ensemble cast or I'm leading it or the antagonist or whatever. 

13. Julie Plec
There's a reason a happy ending is called an ending. The trick of a television storyteller is to find all the rivers and mountains and valleys on the way to that ending. 

14. Sigourney Weaver
I think I have always tried to do the smaller films. I like to jump around and there is something really nice for acting in a smaller film.

15. Shonda Rhimes
My favorite thing to do is rip the covers off a script when reading for writers to hire and make everybody read without names on the covers of the script. I can't tell you how many times my writers, women and men, will pick people of color and women much more often than they would with a cover on the script. 

16. Drew Barrymore
It's never too late. Don't focus on what was taken away. Find something to replace it, and acknowledge the blessing you have.

17. Lena Dunham
I have to write people who feel honest but also push our cultural ball forward. 

18. Scarlett Johansson
I've always been very competitive, and a part of that is pushing your boundaries - taking a risk and being able to live with the loss that comes with taking a risk. 

19. Mindy Kaling
Twitter is the most amazing medium for a comedy writer. I can't get in every idea I want on the show no matter how hard I try to bully the other writers, so it's a way of me getting out other comic ideas and immediately getting feedback. 

20. Tina Fey
For my first show at 'SNL', I wrote a Bill Clinton sketch, and during our read-through, it wasn't getting any laughs. This weight of embarrassment came over me, and I felt like I was sweating from my spine out. But I realized, 'Okay, that happened, and I did not die.' You've got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it. 

21. Bryce Dallas Howard
I've always had the perspective that roles come into my life when I need them most and sort of teach me lessons. The same can be true of films, films are released into society to aid in a lesson, inspire people, comfort people.

22. Octavia Spencer
You just keep moving forward and doing what you do and hope that it resonates with people. And if it doesn't, you just keep moving on until you find a project that does. 

23. Amy Poehler
As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. 

24. Elizabeth Olsen
I think a lot of films do themselves a disfavor by putting in way too much information, and everyone knows what's gonna happen next, and no one can actually discover things as they go. 

25. Reese Witherspoon
Many people worry so much about managing their careers, but rarely spend half that much energy managing their LIVES. I want to make my life, not just my job, the best it can be. The rest will work itself out. 

26. Greta Gerwig
Working is not instantly rewarding. It's a long process, and it's much easier to just feed whatever dopamine cycles exist in your brain in instant gratification ways. I get it; I do it. 

27. Sarah Paulson
To not have any hope is where things start to get really bleak. Things are possible. The impossible can be possible. 

28. Sam Taylor- Johnson
If you have the ideas, and you're a creative person, then you don't really differentiate in how your ideas manifest themselves. 

29. Gurinder Chadha
I am not afraid to be a pioneer. When a door is ajar, you need to open it fully. And once you are in that room, you need to see what other doors there might be and where they might lead.

30. Salma Hayek
I'll tell you, there is nothing better in life than being a late bloomer. I believe that success can happen at any time and at any age. 

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