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Things I’ve Learned As A Moviemaker

Things I’ve Learned As A Moviemaker

Articles - Screenwriting

Renny Harlin

What I have learned from my filmmaking experience
is to trust my instincts. This dates back to when I went to
film school in Finland in the late 1970s. I made a little student
film-just a couple of minutes long. There was a scene where
someone was getting something from the refrigerator. It was
a very simple thing-he opens the door and gets a bottle
of milk from the refrigerator. I thought, “wouldn’t
it be interesting if I broke this refrigerator apart and took
the back of it out, put the camera inside of the refrigerator,
and when the door opens, you see the face of the person, and
he reaches in towards the camera and grabs the bottle and closes
the refrigerator?” Obviously, today, it doesn’t seem
like much, but in those days, for a film student, it seemed
like a revolutionary idea. And I did it and thought that it
would give the audience a different perspective. When the film
was shown to the other students and the teachers, I was absolutely
destroyed and harshly criticized by the teacher, saying, “don’t
you understand that the camera can only be where the human eye
can be naturally?” and “what are you suggesting, that
this is the butter’s point of view?” I was completely
humiliated by that and I quit film school after that. Now, my
goal is always to offer the audience a different point of view.
I guess I really have to thank my film school for that.

Filmography as Director

Houstaanotto (1980)
Born American (1986)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
Prison (1988)
Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)
Cliffhanger (1993)
Cutthroat Island (1995)
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Driven (2001)

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