What's in this session?

  • The cut-throat attitude of the production industry (13:07)
  • The central goal of every film (15:36)
  • The difference between The Revenant and The Intern (25:00)
  • Finding a story that you love (27:34)
  • Elle’s filmmaking process (30:24)
  • Discovering original ideas (36:38)
  • Lessons for young filmmakers (38:13)

Show notes and resources

3 Instant Takeaways

  1. Stories connect with the deepest part of us. Elle says that when she’s creating her core concept, she asks herself, “What’s the emotional response I want from my audience?” Reaching people’s emotions drives the process of her writing and filmmaking, and she believes that emotional storytelling is the best way to really connect with an audience.
  2. There’s a difference between eliciting emotion and manipulating emotion. Elle says that you want to relate to your audience, but not lead them to conclusions. She gives people permission to make a film just about feelings — not necessarily one that has a tidy end-all and be-all finale. As we go through our day we have up moments and down moments, happy moments and anxious moments — and films are allowed to reflect that.
  3. Be fluid in post-production. While you may have storyboarded your concept and created a script and shotlist, the process of filming creates its own moments. Actors bring emotions you didn’t expect to the film, and surprises occur that you need to run with in final edit.

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