It is easy to make a list of all your favorite cast and crew members

Make a list of all your favorite movies, and then use the International Movie Database (IMDB) to see who directed and wrote them. Make a list of these people. Now make a list of a few of your least favorite movies and do the same thing. Like a dog returning to its vomit, so a filmmaker usually churns out the same quality of work. Following your favorite filmmakers can help you stay up to date on what good movies might be coming up. You can track them using IMDB. Learn to follow your favorites and avoid your least favorites.

A few of my favorite well-known filmmakers are Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Stephen Spielberg, Bryan Singer, Martin Scorsese, the Coen Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, Tim Burton, and J.J. Abrams. Stephen King books and stories can also turn into a mean screenplay (see The Shawshank Redemption). I am also avoiding all movies featuring Eddie Murphy unless they have the word Shrek in them.

Next, make a list of all the actors you like and who you think almost always choose good movies to be in. A talented actor (especially in the comedy genre) can single-handedly save a movie. For a good example, see Steve Carrel in Evan Almighty. Also, if you find a certain actor or actress to be particularly attractive or entertaining, that can save a movie for you. That is how I got through several lame Hugh Jackman and Brad Pitt movies. It helps that they can act too.

Online tools and inspiration

RottenTomatoes also provides a useful service for this step. If you click on the name of a filmmaker or actor, or use the search to find him, it will take you to his page. There is an average of the ratings of all the movies that person participated in and a scale of these movies. This is the Daniel Day-Lewis page. He has a near-perfect record when it comes to choosing good projects (even if most of them are a little somber for my tastes).

Of course, you can also consult YouTube for fun lists of favorite directors and actors.

Made 4 December 2008
by Erin Hughes. video credit lialyss retrieved from