Mark Cousins shares the creative challenges of filmmaking with Blanquerna students
24.03.2021

He’s one of the most prominent voices of current film analysis and film history, author of the documentary series "The Story of Film: an odyssey ", and most recently "Women make film”, among others.

Mark Cousins offered, via Zoom, a masterclass to Audiovisual Communication Students of Blanquerna: “The biggest challenge in terms of any filmmaking is the creative challenge”, he said in a conversation moderated by professor Elisabet Cabezas, a journalist specialized in film and also documentary director. 

Here's a summary of the key ideas that Cousins shared with the students, ones of great interest for any “movie lover”.

The Ten Commandments according to Cousins

  1. Avoid conventions. Avoid conventional wisdom. “That’s the hardest bit”, Elisabet, he said.
  2. Be Wild.
  3. Ignore categories, transgress, jump over the fence.
  4. Jot down everything: “The first ideas, scribble them down as fast as possible”. 
  5. Mind the structures. Devote time and effort to their development.
  6. And if there’s chaos, let it be. Show it.
  7. Use your brain, your intellect, but learn when to switch them off and let your subconscious do the rest of the job.
  8. Film everyday, just for fun, with no particular purpose (at least that’s what he does and so far, it has paid off).
  9. Get yourself a small camera: big ideas can be carried in small equipment. 
  10. Do not try to be professional: “It’s a trap, it’s not creative”.

As Robert Bresson said, for the inspiration of Cousins, and everybody who listened to his lecture: “Show me something that you can see, and I can't”. If that much is achieved, then something extraordinary is on the way. Rest assured. 

enlightenedYou can watch the whole conference or take 3 minutes for a summary full of inspiration.