Film World Wisdom From Director Sam Voutas


12 Oct 2017




Film World Wisdom From Director Sam Voutas

12 Oct 2017

Want some good advice? Be nice. Don’t fall into the trap of making great art but being a bad person.

Also, finish your projects. “A so so finished project is way better than an unfinished awesome project because no one sees your awesome unfinished project!”

These are among the many gems about loving the filmmaking process as much as the finished product that a full house of SAE students and visitors took from Aussie filmmaker Sam Voutas in a masterclass at SAE Melbourne recently, in partnership with the Melbourne International Film Festival. Voutas’ second film, King of Peking premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC in April 2017 and is a stunning and heartwarming feature about a father and son venture to pay for spousal support by bringing more movies to Chinese audiences (illegally).

Imagine Cinema Paradiso set in China, where Voutas and his wife and creative partner have spent a chunk of their career, including the making of their first film, Red Light Revolution. Voutas and his team created King of Peking with a crowdfunding initiative and it’s paying off — the British Film Institute listed it as one the top ten films set in Beijing.

 At SAE Melbourne, Voutas told a crowd of aspiring filmmakers about the diverse and challenging paths to creating independent films — and how utterly worthwhile it all is. Watch his presentation below and stay for the thorough list of golden advice including: be positive, generous and imaginative in an industry that is changing for the better and yet, “rejection never ends.” Being grateful and giving in a cutthroat field is as good for the film as it is for the soul.  

Here's a snippet of Sam’s golden advice. Watch the masterclass below.

Sam’s Top 14 Lessons for a Film Career


1. Make your own rules. The system is changing and rewards trend setters.

  8. Keep creating. In any form possible to you.
2. It’s okay to fail. Fail as many times as you can. Keep failing and sooner or later you will succeed.   9. Volunteer and help others. And show gratitude when others help you.
3. Be patient. Film making is a really, really slow process.   10. If it feels dodgy, it is dodgy.
4. Don't be competitive. It's not a race. Find your happiness in the creative process — not the result.    11. Don't bad mouth people, even if you're right. It really is a tiny pond — people will remember. (And it's not nice.)
5. Volunteer and help others. And show gratitude when others help you   12. There's no such thing as 'Making It'.
6. It's 50% art, 50% business. Learn marketing; it is just as important as the filmmaking itself.   13. Become a connection person.
7. You don’t have to be in LA to make movies. These places are overshot anyway.   14. Fast. Good. Cheap.  You can’t have all three: so choose two.

Twitter: @samvoutas

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