Ron Howard: The Power Of Collaboration

And creative problem-solving.

Ron Howard has been in Hollywood all his life. He knows the in-and-out of the business better than most because he has been on both sides of the camera since he was just a kid. Giving him a unique perspective on the movie-making business.

Howard got his start as a child actor, and then he realised that a lot of the filmmaking business was problem-solving. Not all shoots go smoothly, in fact, almost none do. When things go south in a set, the director has to rely on his actors to solve the problem his being burdened with. That’s how Ron learned to direct. Directing is a creative problem-solving.

He learned so much as an actor that he actively recommends that everybody involved in the business should try it at least once. There’s something special about the vulnerability of the process, everyone that goes through it learns something valuable for their craft. After all, how do you expect to direct acting if you’ve never tried it yourself? Empathy goes a long way.

And empathy he has lots of, after all, he’s known in Hollywood for his calm demeanour. Howard knows that everybody involved in his picture is looking to capture those great moments, that great scene, they all want to make a good movie. And to do so, he creates excellent environments where his team can feel invested and included in the process of shooting the picture. Just like the environments he experienced while shooting The Andy Griffith Show, where — even as a kid — he was allowed to raise his hand and give his opinion about a scene.

But listening to what your team says is only part of being a director, Howard sees himself as the ultimate keeper of the story. The voice and the vision have to come from the director. He’s very focused on what his story is telling and how his own unique style and intention can make it pop and bring it to life. It’s his voice the one that goes into the screen, but he lets himself be pushed forward by his team.

As a young actor, Howard spent time with his co-stars learning and admiring their craft, but he also spent time on set with the crew, learning how the camera works, how the lighting should be, and where the mics where staged. He discovered that the only one who got to talk to both crew and actors was the director, and from there on out his decision had been made. He wanted to direct.

Howard’s style lends perfectly to the high-stress work of the Hollywood director. He follows his voice and taste but listens to what his crew has to say. Holistic filmmaking. For this reason and many more Ron Howard has been around longer than most, he’s still liked by many, and keeps pumping out huge blockbusters every two years.

Do you think you can learn something from a man that has been directing movies for 30 years? Of course, you can!


Discover the secrets of filmmaking with one of the most important American directors of the last three decades! Get the wisdom and coolness of RON HOWARD straight to the comfort of your own living room.

RON HOWARD teaches DIRECTING at Filmarket Hub’s TRAINING.