Many of Simon's tips are practical ones -- using a rubber band for smooth pans and slides, not using a flat or log profile to judge the lighting in your scene, securing your various audio/video cables and labeling them so you can tell what goes where at a glance, always feeding your cast and crew, helping actors understand their character's motivations (not just telling them how to act in a scene, but why they're acting a certain way). On the other hand, quite a few of Simon's tips are applicable to far more than just filmmaking, and those are the ones that I find to be the most powerful.


Personally, I'm a big fan of taking a more holistic approach to becoming a better filmmaker. Sure, you can lock yourself in a room for days on end, just consuming an endless stream of films, furiously taking notes, figuring out what works and why. Then, if you're so inclined, you can spend years at a time working on the films of others, as well as your own films, with little time for anything else but eating and sleeping. In doing so, you'll probably become a good filmmaker, no doubt about it.

However, great art isn't created in a bubble. It's the result of lives well lived, lives full of interesting people and experiences. It's the result of consuming all forms of media (books, films, music, visual art, theater) and distilling those ideas into something unique and personal. It's the result of making artistic creation a habit, something that you do regardless of whether you feel inspired or not. And last but not least, it's the result of actually giving a shit about something. Regardless of what you care about, whether it's socioeconomic issues, saving the environment, or your pet tarantula, use your craft to say what you want to say, not what others want or expect you to say.

You can read more tips over on DSLRguide, but in the meantime we'd love to hear your single most important tip for better filmmaking. So share them with us down in the comments!

Source: DSLRguide