Was having a conversation tonight about what makes a good movie, or more specifically why certain movies fail to live up to expectations. Obviously there are a lot of reasons why a movie doesn't work (lack of money, bad acting, uninspired script, etc), but in my opinion the biggest reason is lack of vision. What I mean by vision is a clear idea from the beginning of the process of what the intended film will actually BE. And where does that vision start? I'll tell you: The director.
I was at a private screening last year of a still-to-be-released feature film. A big name writer had written the script, and I was excited to see it, because I was a fan. The director of the film got up and gave a little intro, and immediately I knew something was up. The guy looked and acted like a guy who just didn't belong there, and more importantly, didn't seem to have a point of view. He just sort of sucked the life out of the room before the movie even started. Needless to say, you could see that lack of vision in the cut of the film, and the movie was a mess. (It STILL hasn't been released)
Think about most successful directors, and they all have one thing in common: a confidence in their idea for their film. Love him or hate him, even a guy like Michael Bay has a clear idea of what he wants his films to be. That's not to say a director should ignore advice and ideas from other members of the team (like the producer *cough*), but they need to have their vision strong in their minds first. It's the number one most important thing aspiring directors can develop IMO.
Luckily, we've got Matt, who's got no shortage of ideas and vision of his own. I wouldn't have it any other way.