Rules For Directors by Sam Mendes


American_Beauty_poster Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - opening night

Sam Mendes is best known for directing American Beauty (1999), which earned him the Academy Award for best director. He also directed the James Bond movie Skyfall (2012) as well as musical stage productions of Cabaret and Oliver! At a recent Manhattan theater event, he shared his 25 Rules For Directors. Here are some of the those that are most appropriate for film and video directors. The complete list is available at Vanity Fair Magazine where it was originally published.

1. Always choose good collaborators. It seems so obvious, but the best collaborators are the ones who disagree with you. It means they’re passionate, they have opinions, and they’ll only ever say yes if they mean it.

8. Confidence is essential, but ego is not.

10. Buy a good set of blinkers. Do not read reviews. It’s enough to know whether they’re good or they’re bad. When I started, artists vastly outnumbered commentators, and now, there are a thousand published public opinions for every work of art. However strong you are, confidence is essential to what you do, and confidence is a fragile thing. Protect it. As T.S. Eliot says, teach us to care, and not to care.

13. There is no right and wrong, there is only interesting, and less interesting.

14. Paintings, novels, poetry, music are all superior art forms. But theater and film can steal from all of them.

17. Learn when to shut up. I’m still working on this one.

19. Please remember the Oscars are a TV show.

20. Get on with it. Robert Frost said, “Tell everything a little faster.” He wasn’t wrong.

25. Never, ever, ever forget how lucky you are to do something that you love.


Keep Reading...

Transfer videotapes

David Pogue says Digitize Those Memory-Filled Cassettes

David Pogue produces videos and writes articles about personal tech issues. His work appears in the NY Times, PBS “Nova,” Yahoo Tech, Scientific American and more. His new article “Digitize Those Memory-Filled Cassettes before They Disintegrate subtitled Bite the bullet and have them digitized—I wish I’d done it sooner. appears in the September 1, 2016 […]

Read More
Growth of Mobile Video

Study Reveals Growth of Mobile Video

The Growth of Mobile Video means videos should be produced for different devices.

Read More

YouTube Red Ad-Free

Here’s how YouTube Red describes their new offering: Enjoy ad-free and music videos whenever you sign in to YouTube or a YouTube app—on your mobile device, desktop, or enabled TV. Save videos and songs on your mobile device to watch offline. Connect with your favorite gamers without the ads. $9.99/month 1-month free trial. While we […]

Read More


Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award