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by James Hiler
September 25, 2013 9:39 AM
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The 5 'Inside the Actors Studio' Episodes Every Filmmaker Should Watch

Steven Spielberg on "Inside the Actors Studio"

Simply known as the "seminar" for the students of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, "Inside The Actors Studio," hosted by James Lipton, has been an education for artists since it first premiered eighteen years ago. But despite the program's title, Lipton has over the years also made room for directors to come onto his program. Below are five insightful filmmaker interviews with some of the today's best living directors that every filmmaker should watch.

Spike Lee


James Lipton on Spike Lee: "This would be a formidable body of work for any director but for one who is barely in his forties, it is an astounding achievement by any definition and standard. He defines for his time and for his generation the term filmmaker."

Lee on why he became a filmmaker: "School ended in May. I just finished my Sophomore year. So I came back to New York trying to find a summer job. Couldn't find one so with a super eight camera that I had gotten I just spent the whole summer going around shooting stuff in New York City. That summer happened to be the summer of the black out and that summer was also the first summer of disco and there were always block parties around everywhere and people would just plug up their turn tables to the streetlights. That was the first summer that the hustle came out so I made a film called 'Last Hustle Brooklyn,' which was real inter-cut with the looting from the blackout with the block party stuff. So that's when I really decided I wanted to become a filmmaker."

Martin Scorsese

James Lipton on Martin Scorsese: "It's very evident here tonight, obviously, that we are in the presence of a gentleman. A gentle man."

Scorsese on what's magical about filmmaking: "It's interesting, when you cut a shot -- that's why I still love editing -- you cut one shot and there's camera movement and that sort of thing and it cuts to another shot it creates a third shot that's in your mind that's not there. It creates information usually that's not there. It's very subjective. That's whats so magical about it."-

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8 Comments

  • Elliot | October 17, 2013 12:14 AMReply

    I don't agree with Spielberg 'nor James Cameron. These are filmmakers who couldn't produce a film on a micro-budget if their lives depended on it. I think it's absolutely fricken important and vital to the integrity of an artist to continuously prove your abilities by doing an ultra-low budget indie every now and again. Without that street cred, you don't matter.

  • Dilanka Wettewa | December 22, 2013 8:52 AM

    Did I just read this? Elliot -- some random, unknown guy on the internet critiques Spielberg and Cameron. Now, THAT is comedy.

  • Stan | November 29, 2013 8:56 PM

    LMAO. Cameron might not be able to, but Spielberg.... Come on. Spielberg has mastered his techniques and the filmmaking craft, as a filmmaker AND as an artist. He could totally do an indie budget film if he wanted to, but a man of his level in the industry doesn't need to prove anything. To suggest he doesn't matter simply because he doesn't prove his abilities by doing an ultra-low budget indie every now and again is just absurd.

  • Paulina | October 3, 2013 4:22 PMReply

    All dudes. Classic IndieWide.

  • Daniel Rounds | September 26, 2013 1:02 PMReply

    I recall Lipton's show with Meryl Streep.
    Her favorite sound?
    "Rain."
    To me her reply spoke volumes.

  • Enter a name | September 26, 2013 5:56 AMReply

    I'd replace one of these people with Sylvester Stallone. He is underrated as an artist. Watch his interview and you might have your attitude about him changed.

  • sp | September 26, 2013 2:08 AMReply

    All men. How surprising. Not.

  • Ahsoka23 | October 10, 2013 10:13 AM

    I know what you mean. What about some female filmmakers. Kathryn Bigelow anyone?