The Best Film Directing Tips Of All Time, According To Three Major Filmmakers [Comic-Con]

Not all advice is good advice, especially when it comes to a complicated art form like filmmaking. Everyone is bound to have their own process and thrive using different techniques, but it never hurts to hear tips straight from the mouths of masters. Learning from the experts is always valuable, whether it's an entire MasterClass taught by an acclaimed auteur or just a line of advice from a favorite director. 

In this case, the wise mentors are filmmakers Andrew Stanton ("WALL-E," "John Carter"), Tim Miller ("Deadpool"), and Chad Stahelski ("John Wick") who spoke at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 as part of Collider's Directors on Directing Panel. /Film's Jacob Hall was in attendance at the panel, which featured questions from both audience members and celebrity guest stars (via video). Among the surprise question askers were Bryan Cranston and Guillermo Del Toro, who asked the trio to share the best directing tips they've ever received.

In Del Toro's case, he wanted to hear what they found most "practical" and "useful," and even offered an example of his own, sharing the tip that stays with him to this day. "Mine was very simple," Del Toro said in the video. "James Cameron said to me: eight hours of sleep." Fun fact — this piece of advice applies to all aspects of life! It never hurts to be well-rested, especially when helming a major production. It's simple, sweet, and very important to keep in mind, which is also true of the answer that Stalhelski offered. The "John Wick" co-director shared that the rule he abides by is "ignorance is confidence." Given Stalhelski's background in stunt work, I'd take the ignorance part with a grain of salt. But when it comes to both stunts and directing, confidence goes a long way.

Directing tips from Tim Miller and Andrew Stanton

Andrew Stanton began his career in animation and has continued to work with Pixar since co-writing "Toy Story" in 1995. Titles like "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E" have become some of his best known, but Stanton has also spent plenty of time in the realm of live-action, thanks to his 2012 sci-fi flick "John Carter," and his time directing episodes of "Stranger Things." Stanton's advice also came directly from a beloved sci-fi director — George Miller. "He said to plan the s*** out of stunts and then be prepared to throw it all out on the day, But if you don't to both, then you're screwed."

Tim Miller's advice came from "Deadpool" editor, Julian Clarke, while in production on the 2016 film. Although the advice came up while they were testing the film, Miller later learned that it applied to every aspect of the filmmaking process. "When you're getting comments and notes on the film when you start showing it," Clarke said to "'look for the patterns.' Any individual comment could be taken as someone's opinion or out of left field but you'll find the problem in what you're doing if you look for the patterns."

When it comes to notes from studio execs and Hollywood bigwigs, there's no telling what the results will be, but Miller feels that feedback is a crucial part of the creative process. He said, "If any director is afraid to listen to people's feedback, I don't think they should be allowed to direct in the future, because we're making it for people to watch."

Not only are these great lessons for any aspiring filmmakers to keep in mind, it's also a comfort to know that even for longtime directors, there's always more to learn.