The best advice an aspiring filmmaker can receive on how to direct a movie is “just do it”. The action associated with those three words tend to frighten first time filmmakers into procrastinating their debut project. Following the below strategies will aid you in facing your fears behind the camera.
- Stay within your niche. Debut directors should consider a subject matter they know and are interested in. If you enjoy horror, for instance, make your first film a scary movie. The more you're intrigued by a genre, the more passion will fuel your directorial fire.
- Write your own screenplay. Why? Because, starting out, you'll be more comfortable directing your own material. Stress of worrying about turning someone else's written story into a motion picture should be the last thing you need at this point. Directing your own script is a great way to loosen up the fear factor a bit while learning how to direct a movie.
- Recruit people you know for actors. Don't listen to outside sources about why not to cast friends and family as actors. You're in the process of learning how to direct a movie. You need people you're comfortable with. Directing a complete stranger while in the learning process can be a very difficult thing. Use this directorial debut to your fullest advantage. Telling your best friend what to do is totally different than telling a complete stranger. Just remember to rehearse your chosen cast. People who've never acted before generally have a hard time appearing natural on camera. Help them the way they're helping you.
The main thing about learning how to direct a movie is having fun in the process. Even as a professional, it's very important to maintain that feeling of excitement about your projects.