Writer and Director of Looper Rian Johnson offers up six tips on how to be a better filmmaker.

Read Great Stuff That Has Nothing to Do With Anything You’re Writing

I’m in that phase right now where I’m fishing for the next idea, so this is the first tip I thought of. But it’s applicable at all points in the process I think. When I’m looking for inspiration, in addition to looking at sources that line up with my idea I try to cast my net wide and into weird waters. If you’re working on a western, read a biography of Einstein, or if you’re working on a horror movie dig into some Jung, or a history of the French revolution, or some Tolstoy short stories. Anything that sparks your interest, and as far afield from your own idea as possible. Because when you’re reading a book that has nothing to do with your movie and you hit that one paragraph that somehow miraculously has everything to do with your movie, it’s like striking gold.

That’s the kind of unique inspiration that can really start things up.

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