Here's to five miserable months on the wagon and the irreparable harm that it's caused me.
Anyone who has ever been privileged to direct a film also knows that, although it can be like trying to write 'War and Peace' in a bumper car in an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not many joys in life that can equal the feeling.
I am afraid of aeroplanes. I've been able to avoid flying for some time, but I suppose, if I had to, I would. Perhaps it's a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. At one time, I had a pilot's licence and 160 hours of solo time on single-engine light aircraft. Unfortunately, all that seemed to do was make me mistrust large aeroplanes.
I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.
Writing, of course, is writing, acting comes from the theater, and cinematography comes from photography. Editing is unique to film. You can see something from different points of view almost simultaneously, and it creates a new experience.
Among a great many other things that chess teaches you is to control the initial excitement you feel when you see something that looks good. It trains you to think before grabbing and to think just as objectively when you're in trouble.
You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it's really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas.
It takes more discipline than you might imagine to think, even for thirty seconds, in the noisy, confusing, high-pressure atmosphere of a film set. But a few seconds' thought can often prevent a serious mistake being made about something that looks good at first glance.
Because I direct films, I have to live in a major English-speaking production center. That narrows it down to three places: Los Angeles, New York and London. I like New York, but it's inferior to London as a production center. Hollywood is best, but I don't like living there.
Part of my problem is that I cannot dispel the myths that have somehow accumulated over the years. Somebody writes something, it's completely off the wall, but it gets filed and repeated until everyone believes it. For instance, I've read that I wear a football helmet in the car.
When you're making a film, you have to make most of your decisions on the run, and there is a tendency to always shoot from the hip.
I read. I order books from the States. I literally go into bookstores, close my eyes, and take things off the shelf. If I don't like the book after a bit, I don't finish it. But I like to be surprised.