Premier Partner

How to Find Your Directing Style: Sundance Auteurs Share Lessons Learned


(No Film School) – “Copy your heroes, get it out of your system. What’s left is what you are the most obsessed with, and becomes part of your own style.”

David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon) and Athina Tsangari (Attenberg, Chevalier) are two directors known for their articulate and unique styles. How did they arrive at these cohesive visions? How do they script and shoot? And how do they stay consistent to their styles while trying new stuff? The two directors sat down inside the 2017 Sundance Filmmaker Lodge with moderator Holly Herrick to have a cozy Cinema Café discussion about all of these things. You can watch the full discussion here.

Start by copying everything you love

If you’re feeling frustrated by the pressure to churn out completely original works, you may be relieved to hear that David Lowery and Athina Tsangari started developing their own deeply personal styles by, well, copying films they loved! “I was mostly ripping people off in all the films I made as a kid,” said David Lowery. “I made a terrible Tarantino rip-off. When I first saw Pulp Fiction, it changed what I thought about how you could tell a story. Through Tarantino, I then discovered Godard.”

See the full account at


Leave A Reply