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Tip #1527: Directing Advice from Denis Villeneuve

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Fear of failure is far worse than failure itself.

Behind the scenes of ‘Arrival’  CREDIT: Paramount.

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This article first appeared in NoFilmSchool.com. This is a summary.

NOTE: The heart of this article is a video interview with Denis Villeneuve on how he directs.

Overcome failures by acceptance. In thinking about creating a sequel to Blade Runner, Denis said that you have to accept the fact that you can, and (likely will) fail, and that that’s okay. Accept that fate, and once you do, you become free. To get rid of the pressure of potential failure, you need to accept that it can happen, place less focus on it, and just put your mind toward creation. That is the only way you can create without boundaries.

Create tension with realism. Villeneuve says that one of the key elements for tension is that you need to make people relate to the narrative through the subconscious mind. Villeneuve says that you have to bring in something for your audience to relate to, and give them a clue to create suspense about something that will happen. Make the audience wonder.

Strive to create poetry. Villeneuve says that at the end of the day, the reason why everyone goes to see movies is to be moved by the poetry of the image. That, he says, is because those images had a profound meaning. That meaning is orchestrated by the movement of the camera, the light, the design, and the elements that create an invisible meaning. To Villeneuve, this is poetry.

The original article is linked at the top.


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