An opportunity to speak to someone working in your industry for quite a long time and gain experience from this interaction is always very inspiring. Fortunately, I got a chance to interview Paddy Murphy, an award-winning filmmaker, and discuss with him what does it mean and how does it feel to direct films. Lately, I have posted the interview itself, and now it is the time to reflect on what answers I got.
For me, it is always very interesting to hear how people start their journey in film industry — and for Paddy a huge willing to tell stories became the reason why he started making films. Filmmakers are always storytellers, and making films is a great way to tell stories. According to Paddy, he doesn’t really believe in film schools — to an extent that film schools will never substitute real experience of being on set, and I totally agree with him on this point. Of course, education contributes a lot, but alone it doesn’t mean much. The whole concept of “go outside and make films NOW” is something I hear extremely often from people in the industry — and of course, they are right. Even though it might be very hard to overcome all your inner fears, and doubts, and procrastination, and whatever else might stop you from making movies, it is the only way to get started and move forward, mastering the art and craft of your passion.
Another thing that always interests me is sources of inspirations. I often experience that block when you just cannot find a really good idea for your film, and the more you think about it, the more stuck you get. Usually, good ideas come to mind naturally, without forcing yourself, but I keep asking people about where they find inspiration — and real-life events are the most common answer, which is, of course, very understandable. Also, I fully agree with the idea that stories are all around us, you just have to pay attention, notice and catch them.
When I asked Paddy how he would describe the job of a film director his answer was: “Share your vision with everyone”. To be honest, I think this answer fits really well: directing films means communicating your ideas to all the team and the cast, sharing your vision in order to bring production to life, and it is also transferring that vision to the audience. As a film director, you have to understand all the aspects of making movies, be able to stay calm in any situations and be objective towards yourself.
A part of the interview I can deeply relate to is the one when Paddy speaks about filmmaking teaching you to deal with any unexpected issues. Personally, I feel exactly the same. I have this idea that filmmaking in general and film directing in particular is a process of constant problem-solving. You will always get into unexpected situations, in a way it’s inevitable when being on set or in pre-/post-production stages, and it’s okay. Making films helps you gain this ability to stay calm, stop panicking and start thinking of what could be done with the issue — because without it you won’t be able to move forward. And once you learn it, you start noticing that it works not only in filmmaking but in all situations you might face in your life.
I’d like to thank Paddy for sharing his experience and thoughts with me, it was both very inspirational and useful for me as a young filmmaker. Here I would like to put his quote from this interview addressed to all aspiring filmmakers: “ Never stop. Never give up. Only make the compromises that make sense to bring your vision to life. Fail often. Fail hard. Learn more than you ever will, as fast as you can. Tell stories that mean something to you”.