'Pick up a Camera... Get Your Friends Together and Make a Movie': 10 Tips from Lynn Shelton
How can you become the next indie auteur? Listen to Lynn Shelton and... make a bunch of stuff.
Lynn Shelton is a director and actress, known for Humpday (2009), Laggies (2014), Your Sister's Sister (2011), and a whole bunch of other movies and TV you can view on her IMDB or Wiki page. She's constantly been a voice in indie cinema over the past few years, and even done a few stints directing television for series like Glow, Love, and Fresh off the Boat.
I'm a massive fan of her work. I think she always centers her stories on complex characters and takes her time to steep us in their worlds and show us the pressures at hand. I also appreciate her ever-evolving voice. From mumblecore to rom-coms, to more avant-garde dramas. She's constantly challenging herself and the audience to keep up.
That's why I tried to assemble ten of her best quotes on filmmaking.
These are quotes meant to inspire you to think outside the box, do your best work, and never to settle.
Let's jump in.
10 Lynn Shelton Quotes About Filmmaking
1. "I have always been interested in character relationships that feel incongruent on paper — bonds or dynamics that from the outside may appear strange or improbable. But through these odd pairings, there is humanity and transformation. It’s people who grapple with their sense of identity as one loses the ability to touch and the other gains an ability to heal. I love the idea of two souls connecting across the barriers of whatever social norms might be standing in their way." --- Lynn Shelton from Filmmaker Magazine
2. "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. For me, as a female filmmaker, when I was out on the festival circuit in 2006 I felt like such a freaking anomaly—an oddity." --- Lynn Shelton from a Women And Hollywood Interview
3. "In the collaborative process, you create a real intimacy; everybody ends up sharing personal stories and personal observations and their philosophies, their psychological side. By the time you get to set, it just creates such a sense of trust and intimacy between the director and the actors. It's really, really great." --- Lynn Shelton speaking with Interview Magazine
4. "Anyone of you who are out there thinking that you can’t make a movie because nobody is stepping up to the plate and giving you money and permission to do it. You can. You can do it. You can empower yourself. You can pick up a camera. The technology is there. You can get your friends together and you can make a movie. You should do it. Now." --- Lynn Shelton from her Indie Spirit Awards Speech
5. "If somebody is having a crappy day it can affect everything… One of the things I wanted to explore was: Could I keep the intimate feeling of my tiny, family-style film sets where everybody is really excited to be there and on the same page, and it’s a really positive experience for everybody?… People of all different stripes from different departments from high to low, were coming up to me and saying, ‘Usually by this time on a production someone is driving me out of my mind and I want to strangle them, I can’t wait to finish. But this? The weeks have flown by. People just had a great time and it made me really happy to hear that." --- Lynn Shelton speaking to the DGA
6. "There's so much great TV and I always thought it would be such a fun little side way to make money and then not have to worry about my films making a lot of money" --- Lynn Shelton speaking to Collider
7. "[Editing] helps me because I can definitely clock things on set because I know what shots I need and I know when I have what I need for the scene, and when I can move on to next scene. So it makes me pretty efficient." --- Lynn Shelton speaking to SVA
8. "I feel like this is the way I was meant to interact with acting. Which is as a director, and helping, working with actors to find their way. Facilitating their performances is so satisfying for me." --- Lynn Shelton to Slate
9. "I'd love for there to be a situation - a world in which that's just not even a question anymore. We are all filmmakers - different stripes, genders, sexual orientations, colors - and our work can be taken on its own terms. I'm really looking forward to that day." --- Lynn Shelton to IndieWire
10. "Get on other filmmaker's sets. There is no better way to learn and make yourself really indispensable, really useful and learn as much as you can. Even if you're a production assistant, just get onto other people’s sets." --- Lynn Shelton speaking to SVA
Summing Up Lynn Shelton's Filmmaking Quotes
When you're on set you need to be a master of every department, and make sure everyone is working together. You're the mayor of your movie. You need to keep pushing forward, learning, and creating.
Your best work is ahead of you. Keep challenging yourself and the results will follow.
What are some of your favorite Lynn Shelton movie moments?
Let us know in the comments!
And keep creating!