Ivan Reitman’s Advice for Aspiring Filmmakers

Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis, and Ivan Reitman.

Filmmaker Ivan Reitman and actor Ernie Hudson were on hand at Wizard World Chicago in the lead-up to next year’s 35th anniversary celebration for Ghostbusters.  The two spoke addressed fans for nearly an hour on Saturday afternoon with a limited amount of time at the end for audience questions.

Early on, I decided that I would ask a question during the panel.  The obvious choice would be something related to Ghostbusters.  Given my background, I felt something along the filmmaking lines made better since.

What advice can you offer to an aspiring filmmaker looking to break into the industry?

Ivan Reitman:  Well, just make films.

You know—it’s a lot easier today than it was—that very first short film (Orientation) that I talked about at the beginning of our talk today—it was shot in 16mm. The one mistake I could make was 30 seconds because you hand to hand-crank it.  You had to buy the film real expensive.  You had to send it to a laboratory to process.  You got a work print.  I had only these roller things by hand to look at it on a viewfinder.  Your camera—the one you have in your pocket right now—is way more sophisticated than anything that was available including when we make the big movie (Ghostbusters).  So you’ve got everything you need.  If it sticks out, go ahead and make it.  Just do it—right.

Ivan Reitman and Danielle Solzman at Wizard World Chicago 2018.
Ivan Reitman and Danielle Solzman at Wizard World Chicago 2018.

The 35th anniversary of Ghostbusters (Dir. Ivan Reitman, 1984) will be held June 8-9, 2019.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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