If you want to know the secret to the movie business then these quotes are for you. From legendary directors such as Hitchcock and Capra to pioneering directors such as Spielberg and Lucas, you’ll find plenty of wisdom in these quotes from the best in the business.

The secret to the movie business, or any business, is to get a good education in a subject besides film – whether it’s history, psychology, economics, or architecture – so you have something to make a movie about. All the skill in the world isn’t going to help you unless you have something to say.

George Lucas

There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.

Frank Capra

I’m terrified by young people who are doing what they think is film making. What they’re really doing is taking that convulsed, fast rhythm of commercials. It’s not film making.

Sergio Leone

I always tell the younger filmmakers and students: Do it like the painters used to… Study they old masters. Enrich your palette. Expand the canvas. There’s always so much more to learn.

Martin Scorsese

Becoming a writer and having films made is probably the best way to become a director.

Chris Columbus

In my career as a director, there’s always been some point where you get halfway through it, or three-quarters, and you go: ‘What is this thing all about, and why am I telling the story? Does anybody really care about seeing this?’ At that time you have to say: ‘OK, forget that and just go ahead.’

Clint Eastwood

Films should not be photographs of people talking.

Alfed Hitchcock

I think to really know the motion picture industry one must go backwards to the silent films and learn how to tell a story visually. These new people spend most of their time copying each other. It gets boring watching scenes of out of focus flowers and faces in the foregrounds. Art is supposed to create emotion and most of the new wave directors fall short on this point. They sacrifice story and visual rhythm for gimmicks.

Alfred Hitchcock

When I talk to student filmmakers, I tell them ‘Read as much as possible. Write as much as possible. Go read (director) Robert Rodriguez’s book Rebel Without a Crew. Get the mistakes out. Write bad. Direct bad. Learn how to tell stories as you do. Find that short film that says exactly who you are and the stories you want to tell. Make it and submit it to the festival process and realize that you may be great, you may be terrible. You won’t find out until you try to get other people to judge your work.

Jason Reitman

Rather it’s that the longer you’re involved in this business, the more you dare to view filmmaking as a game. The moment you lose the sense of play, you should quit. If you forget that it’s a game, that as a filmmaker you are imitating reality, then you’re heading toward a terrible self-deception.

Ingmar Bergman

Watch films with the sound off, not the sound on. If you want to know about craft and technique and the tools of the trade, and why a close up and why a master, and why an insert then turn the sound off. Writers forgive me, I’m not undermining your essential but main contribution, but I think if you want to know where the camera goes, see where the writer and director in collaboration could tell the story without dialogue. See if there’s enough visual illustration to help tell the story, and if there is somebody’s doing the right thing.

Steven Spielberg

Be true to yourself. Find your own voice and be true to that voice. Never take a bad idea, but never turn down a good idea. And, of course, have final cut.

David Lynch

The deeper the truth in a creative work, the longer it will live.

Charlie Chaplin

Filmmaking is a completely imperfect art form that takes years and, over those years, the movie tells you what it is. Mistakes happen, accidents happen and true great films are the results of those mistakes and the decisions that those directors make during those moments.

Jason Reitman

I think everything that you do, you’re learning. I mean, every movie that you make is like a film school; that’s one of the things that I enjoy about filmmaking.

Peter Jackson

I have ten commandments. The first nine are, thou shalt not bore. The tenth is, thou shalt have right of final cut.

Billy Wilder

The time it would take me to write a screenplay it would take me the time to make two films. I would rather make the movies, and I’m a better moviemaker than I would be writer.

Ridley Scott

As a filmmaker you get typecast just as much as an actor does, so I’m trapped in a genre that I love, but I’m trapped in it!

George A. Romero

Each film is interlocked with so many other films. You can’t get away. Whatever you do now that you think is new was already done in 1913.

Martin Scorsese

Time is gold in filmmaking. The ability to not walk away from a scene before its perfected.

Stanley Kubrick

Everything has already been done. every story has been told every scene has been shot. it’s our job to do it one better.

Stanley Kubrick

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