Mastery of the Craft
Well, besides passion for the medium, they have sheer knowledge of all the elements present in a film production. They apply both form and content to create a succinct, intriguing, and relevant message in their films. They are storytellers in every sense of the word. They understand structure, character development, exposition, and foreshadowing. They are able to create unique villains and fearless heroes like no one else can. They are attuned to people’s emotions and their surroundings. They comprehend history and use it to straighten their plots. They can write compelling dialogue. They aren’t afraid of cutting trivialities from every scene of their films. They have the uncanny ability to foresee what people desire, what stirs them…
A Boatload of People Skills
In addition to mastering his or her craft, a filmmaker must be sociable and charismatic. Working on show business, they are always dealing with people. Most of their awaking hours are spent begging, haggling, ordering, explaining, pitching, justifying, analyzing… thus “people skills” are essential. Even so more on set, during principal photography, when the minute/money ratio in an all time high. Especially on set, the filmmaker must be a pacifier; a peacemaker who makes sure everyone works in harmony to their full potential.
Perseverance Above All
Great filmmakers aren’t afraid of the challenge. Before they became “great,” they all knew the obstacles that were ahead of them. They struggled, and they persevered. From not knowing anything about camerawork or storytelling to having to move away to a distant city, the challenges they have are often daunting, but they don’t give up. As they become “great,” obstacles multiply, but their tenacity persists.
Thanks to Ashley B. for the question.