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Jim Cummings shares 10 tips for filmmakers

Sometimes a little advice is enough.

I don’t know about you, but I really love Jim Cummings. He’s such a generous filmmaker who seems to really understand the deep connection between the audience and the moving image. Like his works Thunder road Often mix genres and tones to truly evoke the human experience.

And I think what I love most about him is that his process is not a secret.

He spends a lot of time giving free advice online and encouraging younger filmmakers to break in and take a risk.

Well, Cummings recently launched a YouTube channel of advice and posted its first video. Inside, you’ll find 10 helpful tips or suggestions that filmmakers can use to inspire their work and progress.

Check out the video and scroll down for the tips written out.

Jim Cummings 10 Tips for Filmmakers

  1. Try to impress the audience with the craftsmanship of the film.
  2. Make sure the project’s DNA compels the audience at all costs.
  3. Read and watch great short stories.
  4. Cut everything unnecessarily.
  5. Attacking a serious issue with total austerity almost always fails.
  6. Evergreen topics like life, love, legacy, grief, and happiness are important to discuss.
  7. As you shoot, ask yourself, “Does this actually happen in real life?”
  8. The visions of the directors are often illusions.
  9. It’s not a sketch.
  10. Keep the credits short.

What I love about this list is that it has specific advice on not only doing things, but the ideas and inspiration behind it as well. Developing movie ideas and brainstorming is the hardest part of filmmaking. This feels like a free pass to go to the library, attend readings, and really experience the world.

I also love how much these tips respect the audience. He wants you to take your ideas a step further. Keeping the reality of the movie intact, searching for answers to life’s big questions and challenging yourself to get better are all amazing things to strive for in your work.

What did you learn the most from the list? Let us know in the comments.

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