BySree Lal, writer at
Engineer by occupation. Movie geek for a lifetime....
Sree Lal

To be honest, there isn’t any better profession than filmmaking if you have creativity. Some understand that fact earlier in their life and pursue such a career. For others, they need time to focus on their goals. Directors like Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch found their interest in arts in the form of photography and painting. They further improved it through filmmaking, and in turn excelled in the art. Yet, there are a few well-known directors who never had such an opportunity. They spent years jumping from job to job, eventually ending up in cinema. Their lives are a lesson for us and a ray of hope for the future. Let’s take a look at five film directors who had an entirely different profession before they were directors.

1. David Lean

Film is a dramatized reality and it is the director's job to make it appear real... an audience should not be conscious of technique- David Lean

The master director of epics like Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai started his life as an apprentice in his father’s chartered accountancy firm. Later becoming famous for his masterful works, Lean got inspired to become a filmmaker during this period, thanks to a Brownie box camera that he got from an uncle of his. Bored by his job at the firm, Lean spent most of his time in cinemas and later got advised by his aunt to pursue his choice of career. Winner of numerous Oscars and other accolades, Lean’s life would’ve been a different one if he didn’t had his aunt’s advice.

2. Alfred Hitchcock

For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake- Alfred Hitchcock

The master of suspense was once a draftsman for a cable company named Henley’s. During the First World War, he even enlisted for Royal engineers. We are glad that those career options of his were short-lived. During his time at Henley’s, he became a contributor for a magazine named Henley Telegraph and published his first set of short articles. That was the beginning of the director we now know and love. Later he focused his attention on photography and eventually filmmaking. His movies like Psycho and Rear Window are considered to be world classics, and all that started from a bunch of magazine articles. It’s inspiring to know that as a contributor for Moviepilot.

3. James Cameron

Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you're a director. Everything after that you're just negotiating your budget and your fee- James Cameron

The Academy award winning director and the visionary behind classics like Terminator and Titanic started his career with a bunch of menial jobs including that of a truck driver. Cameron has a long history of dropping out from a number of schools, and it wasn’t too long until he found his passion. Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of Star Wars movies would be the inception of James Cameron the director. Cameron himself stated that Star Wars have inspired him to a great extent. It was Star Wars that opened him up to a window of opportunities for incorporating visual effects and storytelling.

4. Alejandro González Iñárritu

To make a film is easy; to make a good film is war. To make a very good film is a miracle- Alejandro González Iñárritu

Last year’s best director Oscar winner, and the very first Mexican director to get a nomination, Iñárritu has produced some of the finest visually striking movies of the new millennium. Famous for ventures like Amores Perros, Babel and Birdman, Iñárritu had a past as a crew member of a cargo ship that traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. He later admitted that these travels have inspired his filmmaking a lot. It shows, as his movies are a wide canvas of natural beauty along with the inconsistencies of human relation. As his popularity increases from a random cargo ship worker to a well-known film maker, I, like everyone else, am waiting for his next film, The Revenant.

5. Quentin Tarantino

Movies are my religion and God is my patron. I'm lucky enough to be in the position where I don't make movies to pay for my pool. When I make a movie, I want it to be everything to me; like I would die for it- Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino is synonymous to the change in Hollywood movies, as his movies like Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Bastards were rebellious in terms of conventional storytelling. Tarantino had the craziest resume for a film director, including ushering at a porn theater. He worked a number of other menial jobs, during which he started taking acting classes. He even impersonated Elvis Presley in a TV show and worked as a video store clerk. It didn’t took long for his film career to take place, and it’s a good thing to know that hard work actually pays in the end.

This article is dedicated to all those movie buffs who carry a world full of magic and fantasy in their hearts and struggle to make them a reality!





Which one of these directors do you found most interesting?


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