September 10 ~  Passion, Patience, Perseverance American Film Institute Desk Reference

"My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to to do this if you've got to be a filmmaker. You have to have passion if you're going to deal with this subject. Patience, because it's going to take a long time to get there. And perseverance: keep at it, keep at it." ~ Robert Wise

Robert Wise

With passion, patience, and perseverance, director Robert Earl Wise Jr. (1914-2005) created some of the finest films ever made: classic musicals West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965) and dramas The Sand Pebbles (1966) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). He was born on this day.

"I grew up in a small town called Connersville. It was about half way between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Ohio," he explained.

A college dropout during the Great Depression, he moved to California and slipped into filmmaking, editing The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) at RKO studios. Alongside his mentor Orson Welles, Wise worked almost a year editing the landmark film Citizen Kane (1941).

In the 1940s, he progressed to film directing. "When I came into the business my idols were people like John Ford and Willy Wyler, and Howard Hawkes, later on Joseph Mankiewicz," he said.

With an esteemed career spanning six decades, his pictures received an incredible 67 Academy Award nominations and 19 awards. A four-time winner himself, he once said about mastering his craft, "I love directing films. It's been my whole life."

"I've always been looking for that perfect story and that perfect script. If I am to be remembered at all as a director I would hope it is for my taste in films."

More Film-Making Quotations

Live with passion, patience, and perseverance.