Film fans on Twitter have known for a few weeks now that Steven Soderbergh has what he calls “sort of a shadow name” where he’s “posted a few things” on the social networking site; over the past 24 hours, that feed got a lot busier, as Soderbergh (under the unverified handle @bitchuation) started tweeting a novella. Semi-anonymous or not (and even if confining his tweets to novellas and absurd observations), Soderbergh joins a growing body of terrific filmmakers using the medium for film conversation, self-promotion, and peeks behind the curtain. Flavorwire rounded up some favorites back in 2010, but three years is an eternity in Twitter time, so here are a few more recommendations to add to your “following” list.
Edgar Wright (@edgarwright)
Wright, the charming movie geek behind Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, tweets a lot (but not too much) about upcoming events, his favorite flicks, his various travels, and jokes a-plenty. Look for it to get even busier as he prepares for this summer’s release of The World’s End.
Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward)
Howard’s Twitter persona is a lot like his real life one (and, word has it, his actual personality): friendly, affable, pleasant. Lately, he’s been in pre-production, so he’s been posting travel and location pics galore, but the real draw of the Howard feed these days has been his occasional snaps from narration recording sessions for Arrested Development’s eagerly awaited fourth season.
Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow)
Knocked Up director and movie/TV comedy kingpin Apatow is what is known in social circles as a “good Twitterer”: he retweets as often as he tweets himself, pointing his 945,000 followers to stuff worth reading, seeing, and knowing, and when he retweets compliments (and he gets a lot of them), he usually gives them a note of Apatowian self-deprecation.
Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC)
DuVernay directed The Middle of Nowhere, one of last year’s best films, but that’s not all — this former publicist is also an indie film distributor, via her AFFRM (African-American Film Festival Releasing) collective, so she’s an excellent source for under-the-radar movie recommendations.
William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin)
Friedkin’s feed is a lovely mix of information on his films (“Re: SORCERER. The original negative is in good condition And it’s now being budgeted to make a new digital master. I’ll keep you updated”), plugs for his wonderful new memoir, and photos from his film festival travels. And rest assured, this affection was in place before the above tweet, or its follow-up. Thanks, William Friedkin!
Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson)
Looper and Brick director Johnson cultivates this “unverified and dangerous” feed, which is heavy on interaction, photos, stray observations, and a perhaps worrisome obsession with Chopped.
Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon)
Moon and Source Code director — and son of David Bowie — Duncan Jones has a freewheeling feed where he chats about movies, politics, video games, and underpants. It’s all very charming, and very British.
Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113)
Bird, director of The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, tweets about everything from news to candy to living in Los Angeles (“Driving in LA is like running in the FLINTSTONES living room, only instead of passing the same couch over & over you pass a 7-11”) to, as seen above, movie marketing.
Mark Duplass (@MarkDuplass)
The very busy Mr. Duplass is not only a prolific filmmaker (Cyrus, The Puffy Chair, Jeff Who Lives at Home), producer, and actor (he’s in the cast of The League and a semi-regular on The Mindy Project, as well as many indie films), but excellent on Twitter: funny, insightful, and smart. And service-y: for 18 months, he did a daily “Netflix streamer” recommendation, before confiding, “After 18 months of recommending daily @netflix streamers, I have run out of films I can confidently recommend. Good night. And good luck.”
Katie Aselton (@duplaselton)
Duplass’s wife, Katie Aselton, describes herself as “basic cable actor” (she’s also on The League — and was on MTV’s Undressed, remember that show?) and “small movie maker” — she directed 2010’s The Freebie and the upcoming Black Rock. She’s also funny as hell on Twitter, though she warns followers that she’s “starting the full court press on BLACK ROCK. be patient. don’t unfollow. get w me! get pumped!”
Mira Nair (@MiraPagliNair)
The talented (and wise) filmmaker’s feed isn’t as active as you might like, but she’s so sunny and intriguing that you can’t complain too loudly.
Carl Reiner (@CarlReiner)
Legendary writer, director, and comic actor Reiner is pretty new to Twitter, and he’s clearly having a good time with it: he’s joking around, he’s getting riled up, and he’s come up with 71 (and counting) “Reiner Dictionary words.” And word is he’s the one who got his buddy Mel Brooks to join too, so bonus points for that.
Darren Aronofsky (@DarrenAronofsky)
The process of filmmaking is so all-consuming that you can hardly blame most of these movie makers for taking a break from Twitter when they’re actually, y’know, making a movie. But Aronofsky is an exception to the rule, using Twitter as a kind of filmmaker’s diary during the production of his recent film Noah. Now that principal photography is over, he’s using it like everybody else: to tweet travel photos, pictures of food, political opinions, and occasional film geekery (above).
Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez)
Prolific Sin City and Machete director Rodriguez has always been good at multitasking, so he too sees Twitter as a way to involve his fans in the filmmaking process. Most recently, he’s been tweeting from the set of Sin City 2, with production stills to show the “before,” and screengrabs of the “after.”
Joe Dante (@joe_dante)
Good-natured Gremlins and The Howling director Dante mostly uses his Twitter feed to promote Trailers from Hell, the wonderful vintage trailer site that he co-founded. Still, there are worse things to use a feed for…
And, on second thought…
Kevin Smith (@ThatKevinSmith)
When we last did this back in 2010, we included the once and future Silent Bob among our recommended filmmakers. And in all fairness, his feed wasn’t that bad then — comparatively speaking, at least. And hey, look, presumably there’s a demand for this supply; the man’s got just shy of three million followers. But even if you’re interested in his relentless shilling and retweeting of praise (or his “finger cuffs”-like both-at-once tweets, as above), there’s something to be said for moderation. His tweets (25,000 and counting) never give you a break, so even if you’re a Smith fan, you’ll find him clogging up your feed all day.