Looking for the best filmmaking quotes? We’ve compiled a list of our favourite quotes on filmmaking from the greatest film directors. Whether you’re an experienced filmmaker or someone shooting their first short film, these lessons from the masters of cinema are guaranteed to inspire and help take your filmmaking to the next level.

Quotes on Filmmaking

I make pictures to tell a story, to tell lies, and to amuse.

Federico Fellini

Filmmaking a chance to live many lifetimes.

Robert Altman

A movie is really provocation. It’s not a message, it’s not a statement.

Ang Lee

I want my audience to be constantly captivated, bewitched, so that it leaves the theatre dazed, stunned to be back on the pavement.

Francois Truffaut

For me, film-making combines everything. That’s the reason I’ve made cinema my life’s work. In films painting and literature, theatre and music come together. But a film is still a film.

Akira Kurosawa

Filmmaking for me is always aiming for the imaginary movie and never achieving it.

Peter Jackson

I just love photographing things and putting them together to tell a story.

Christopher Nolan

After a scary movie about the world almost ending, we can walk into the sunlight and say, “Wow, everything’s still here. I’m OK!” We like to tease ourselves. Human beings have a need to get close to the edge and, when filmmakers or writers can take them to the edge, it feels like a dream where you’re falling, but you wake up just before you hit the ground.

Steven Spielberg

I simply direct pictures, and if I had my way, every morning of my life I’d be behind that camera at nine o’clock waiting for the boys to roll ’em, because that’s the only thing I really like to do.

John Ford

I’m here to make good pictures. If I don’t see it, I won’t touch it. I may not make a good picture, but I still gotta believe in it!

William Wyler

For me, the great joy is to watch an audience watching what I’ve made. To hear not a peep from the audience at the right moment, and then to hear the laughs and the cheers.

Michael Bay

My movie is born first in my head, dies on paper; is resuscitated by the living persons and real objects I use, which are killed on film but, placed in a certain order and projected on to a screen, come to life again like flowers in water.

Robert Bresson

I’m drawn to filmmaking that can transport me. Film can immerse you, put you there.

Kathryn Bigelow

Where film is infinitely superior to any other medium is emotion and story and character.

Peter Jackson

I am living permanently in my dream, from which I make brief forays into reality.

Ingmar Bergman

We only have two hours to change people’s lives.

John Cassavetes

When I’m making a film, I’m the audience.

Martin Scorsese

Cinematic Beauty

Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.

Jean-Luc Godard

Cinema is a mirror by which we often see ourselves.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.

Ingmar Bergman

The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.

Stanley Kubrick

The greatest thrill is that moment when a thousand people are sitting in the dark, looking at the same scene, and they are all apprehending something that has not been spoken. That’s the thrill of it, the miracle – that’s what holds us to movies forever. It’s what we wish we could do in real life.

Mike Nichols

There is something that might be called cinematic beauty. It can only be expressed in a film, and it must be present in a film for that film to be a moving work. When it is very well expressed, one experiences a particularly deep emotion while watching that film. I believe it is this quality that draws people to come and see a film, and that it is the hope of attaining this quality that inspires the filmmaker to make his film in the first place. In other words, I believe that the essence of the cinema lies in cinematic beauty.

Akira Kurosawa

Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second and you can hop from one place to another. It’s a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something as in a dream.

Federico Fellini

I’ve always believed that true cinema is cinema of the imagination.

Sergio Leone

The cinema is really built for the big screen and big sound, so that a person can go into another world and have an experience.

David Lynch

… art must must carry man’s craving for the ideal, must be an expression of his reaching out towards it; that art must give man hope and faith. And the more hopeless the world in the artist’s version, the more clearly perhaps must we see the ideal that stands in opposition – otherwise life becomes impossible! Art symbolises the meaning of our existence.

Andrei Tarkovsky

Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.

Roman Polanski

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