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Mark Aitken’s manifesto for filmmaking and other artistic adventures

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Students in TV studio, using camera
Students in TV studio, using camera
Written by
Hamish Chohan
Published date
21 March 2019
Currently experiencing a creative block? Well our tutor, Mark Aitken, is here to help! Teaching Film and Fine Art, Ideas for Successful Scriptwriting and the Ideas for Successful Photography Short Course; here’s Mark’s incredibly helpful manifesto for filmmaking and other artistic adventures.

  1. You have to know the rules to break them, but you should always make up your own rules.
  2. Trust your intuition. You need to use your brain before and after filming but not during it.
  3. Seek the extraordinary in everyday objects - richness in the banal. Question why pain, suffering and violence are popular subjects for films.
  4. If you’re going to interview someone then allow them to talk about anything they want to talk about - this way they’ll reveal more about themselves.
  5. Why make a film? Don’t film if you can live without filming - just write it or say it. If you want to say something then film someone not talking. Film only if you want to show something. This concerns every single shot within the film.
  6. Don’t try to save the world or change the world. Its better if your film changes you. Discover both the world and yourself while filming.
  7. Film when you aren’t sure if you hate or love your subject. Doubts are crucial for making art.
  8. Try not to force people to repeat actions or words. Life is unrepeatable and unpredictable.
  9. Film are films - stories are stories. Think what the viewers will feel when seeing your shots. Then, form a dramatic structure using the changes in their feelings. Find a film - not a story.
  10. Not working is only the build up to working. There is nothing more important than your own work but never feel bad about not working.
  11. Believe that editing is the most fun you will ever have.
  12. At the end of working each day - ask yourself what you’re curious about - what do you need to know? Keep a record of this and refer back to it so as to understand your work process.
We hope Mark’s words help rejuvenate your creative flow and are the start of something amazing! To find our more about Mark you can visit his website; Mark also has an incredibly helpful scriptwriting learning resource you can discover. You can also book Easter School and Summer School places upon Film and Fine Art, Ideas for Successful Scriptwriting and the Ideas for Successful Photography Short Course right now!