When MovieMaker asked a range of successful indie filmmakers to participate in our Film School Roundtable article for our upcoming Summer issue, we received a wide range of insightful, hilarious, and diverse answers.
The three questions we asked each alum: What did you do right in film school, what did you do wrong, and what advice would you have for 2015’s incoming class of budding auteurs? Like the cool upperclassmen whose brains you always wanted to pick, but were too shy to vocalize, we’re happy to step in as your moderator and fraternal big brother.
This week, Guillermo Amoedo (Santiago’s University of Los Andes) shares his wisdom. The director’s latest feature, the supernatural thriller The Stranger, opened in theaters nationwide on June 12.
1. What did you do right when you were in film school?
GA: When I was in film school, I always tried to make the most of every short film or any other kind of practical work. I did many bad short films in those days, but you can learn a lot more from bad decisions than from good ones.
2. What did you do wrong when you were in film school?
GA: If I could do it again, I would care more about the audience and about making films that I would like to watch, rather than making something that a film critic or a college professor would like to see. When people are in film school, they tend to become a little—or a lot—snobbish about movies. They look down on any film or project that may look commercial. That’s because they don’t actually know how hard it is to make any kind of movie that, simply, works.
3. What’s the one best piece of advice you’d give to an incoming film student, so that they can make the most of their time at film school?
GA: Don’t try to please teachers or film critics. Just make the kind of films that you would pay to see in a theater and everything will be all right. MM
The Stranger opened in theaters on June 12, 2015, courtesy of IFC Midnight.