With The House of the Devil, writer-director Ti West showcased an uncanny ability to pay tribute to the classic horror films of the ’80s while reinvigorating the genre with a bold indie spirit.
His latest effort, The Innkeepers, is an award-winning festival hit, and lands on Blu-ray and DVD on April 24. Here, the horror-icon-in-the-making shares his golden rules of moviemaking.
1. ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT. Every decision is yours to make. Don’t let others pressure you. You have to live with your choices for the rest of your life. Don’t go against that feeling in the pit of your stomach. It’s there for a reason.
2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE MORE TALENTED THAN YOURSELF. Let them take your ideas and expand upon them in ways you never thought of. Collaboration is crucial to filmmaking, and you only truly realize this when someone on your crew impresses you. Nothing is better than knowing you hired the absolute right people.
3. BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU DO. Filmmaking is art. Don’t focus on the surface. Find what’s important to you about every scene and settle for nothing less. If you are honest with yourself, you should cringe a little when on display. Honesty is entertaining. If you are not revealing who you are, then why bother? Why should people care about your movie?
4. ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES. Making a movie is traumatic. Usually everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Sometimes it goes smoothly, but be prepared for the worst. Don’t let a lost location, bad weather, technical malfunction or lack of funds stop your passion. Everyone looks to the director when things go wrong. You are a leader… Act like one.
5. SHOOT FILM. It’s better, and it won’t be around much longer. Don’t let it go without a fight. MM