Ridley Scott is the director of classics like Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982) and Legend (1985) and some that will never be classics like Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) and Alien: Covenant (2017). Monday night Scott, while speaking at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA): A Life in Pictures event celebrating his career, told young filmmakers that they had ‘no excuses’ regarding being able to go out and make a movie. Scott cited the advent of modern technology such as computer editing programs and digital cameras as reasons why the past barriers to making film were no longer there and those who wanted to be filmmakers should “go out and make a movie this weekend or stop moaning.”
Scott had many tips for young filmmakers some of these included:
- Learn to film on time and on budget. “Film school never teaches you that”
- Do not sit in on editing rooms or mixing sessions. “If you sit in the editing room with the editor every night you’ll drive each other crazy. I shoot. I see rushes. I leave it”
- Never go back with notes on a screenplay you already like. “You’ll turn a gold film into a development deal”
“Writing is the most powerful thing in the business,” said the director. “If I get it written then making a movie is dead easy. When it’s not on paper it’s a nightmare. If you get it real chances are it’s going to be strong. I can tell within half a page if I’m in good hands.”
Scott was awarded the BAFTA’s fellowship, the film bodies highest award.
I wonder if Scott mentioned that you should never second guess yourself and try to pander to the audience or else you’ll get stir-fried crap like Alien: Covenant? I think that may be in the advanced courses. I thought it was also interesting that it only took him 20 minutes to decide to erase Kevin Spacey from the film “All the Money in the World”. Kevin Spacey may be sludge, but a world without due process holds loyalty to no one. Let’s hope Ridley, that some lass doesn’t hit you with fraudulent accusations that everyone believes automatically…we just might have to witness how long it takes Hollywood to erase you.