film director is not a creator, but a midwife. His business is to deliver the actor of a child that he did not know he had inside him." – Jean Renoir
"There are directors who desire to be artistic. It is pathetic to compare the seriousness of their aim with the absurdity of their attainment." – W. Somerset Maugham
"The director is the most overrated artist in the world. He is the only artist who, with no talent whatsoever, can be a success for 50 years without his lack of talent ever being discovered." – Orson Welles
Oh, Orson: you always were rather grumpy.
One of the most repeated show-business punchlines of all time involves someone rich, powerful or famous being praised for their myriad of achievements, only to respond by saying, "Well, yes, but what I really want to do is direct." It’s such a cliché, in fact, that you really can’t help but laugh when you hear it...and, yet, the ability to direct a good film is not something that comes naturally, nor is something that one can necessarily learn, even if they’ve worked in front of the camera for decades.
An exemplary director has to be able to look at a scene and sense what’s going to work and what isn’t. They need to have their own style, their own vision, and the ability to present that vision to an audience in such a manner that, upon leaving the theater, they’ll say, "Oh, you could totally tell that was one of their films."
It’s a little too easy to create an Actors Hall of Fame – those people grow on trees – but it’s far more of a challenge to come up with a collection of directors whose work will stand the test of time. Now, mind you, just because it’s more of a challenge doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of potential nominees, but, as with our Standup Comics Hall of Fame, we’re keeping the inaugural class down to five inductees. After all, if we start inducting 20 people every six months, it’ll feel like a hollow victory, and we wouldn’t want that.
With that, let the clap board drop and...hey, somebody yell, "Action!"
| Joel & Ethan Coen
"The movie people let us play in the corner of the sandbox and leave us alone. We're happy here."
| Francis Ford Coppola
"In a sense, I think a movie is really a little like a question and when you make it, that's when you
get the answer."
| Stanley Kubrick
"A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings."
| John Landis
"I've done every job there is to do on a movie set except makeup. Wait a minute, I've done makeup."
| Quentin Tarantino
"Sure, 'Kill Bill' is a violent movie. But it's a Tarantino movie. You don't go to see Metallica and ask the fuckers to turn the music down."
| Tim Burton
"Each (movie) is a personal thing. It has to be, because you spend so much time on it, you have to personalize it."
| James Cameron
"People call me a perfectionist, but I'm not. I'm a rightist. I do something until it's right, and then I move on to the next thing."
| Alfred Hitchcock
"I am a typed director. If I made ‘Cinderella,’ the audience would immediately be looking for
a body in the coach."
| Martin Scorsese
"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision...and change the way we see things. They open doors and minds."
| Steven Spielberg
"I dream for a living."