The Magestic

Jim Carrey Martin Landau Laurie Holden Allen Garfield Bruce Campbell Amanda Detmer Daniel von Bargen Jeffrey DeMunn Kris Anderson Bob Balaban Hal Holbrook David Ogden Stiers James Whitmore Ron Rifkin. I've always said that if somebody came to me with a script that I thought was terrific, I wouldn't be compelled to write one myself in order to direct. I'd be happy to direct somebody else's script as well, which was the case with The Majestic. Michael Sloane and I worked on the script, honing the...

Just an Old Fashioned

I've always thought of myself as a very old-fashioned kind of filmmaker. For me narrative is everything. A lot of films today seem to dispense with that. There's not actually that much that's sexy in my movies in terms of flash, not a lot of explosions. There's not a lot of dizzying cutting or extreme camera work. And then all of this stuff that kind of passes for hip today. Some of that stuff actually gives me a bit of a headache. I'm a real traditionalist, an old-fashioned guy. I grew up...

Once a Musician Always a Musician

Because I studied music, if I had to give myself a job description, I would probably still describe myself as a musician. The music continues to be really important to me in the way that I make films. I think I realize now that I am informed musically about structure. With something like Time Code, for example, it's really a piece of music, but it just happens to be a film. It's structured like a string quartet and so on. The great news about this new digital revolution is that now the...

The Wonderful World of Filmmaking

The wonderful thing about moviemaking is that it has all these sequences that flow into each other but are very unlike each other. Writing is the first thing and is the primal thing. Then you go into preproduction, and that's a different thing. You go into casting, and that's a different thing. Shooting is its own little world. Editing is almost like writing in that it's sort of contemplative, and it's not quite the time pressure normally that you have, except you have other people around, and...

Crimes of the Future

Ronald Mlodzik Tania Zolty Jon Lidolt Jack Messinger Paul Mulholland William Haslam Stefen Czernecki. The first one was Stereo and we shot it in black and white. The second one was Crimes of the Future, shot in color but with no synch sound. It was all voiceover that was added later. It was a dreamlike narrative spoken by various characters in the piece. The soundtrack of Stereo was incredibly simple. It was really only one track with narration. In Crimes of the Future, I actually expanded to...

The Coppola Connection

I went off to do this Warner Bros. scholarship just on a lark because I ended up winning it and I thought I'd go and see what feature filmmaking and this Hollywood thing was about. When I got there, Warner Bros. had been shut down because they had just been bought out by another corporation. Jack Warner was actually leaving the lot the day I arrived. They were making one film Finian's Rainbow, which was being directed by Francis Coppola. And they said, Well, we'll stick you on this film because...

On Commercial Filmmaking

I had to decide whether or not I was going to cross the line and become a commercial filmmaker. That is, I would use other people's money to make my movies, and then I would actually be paid and could make a living. It wasn't an obvious transition for me, because I wasn't sure that that's really what I wanted to do. I spent a year in the south of France, very close to the town of Cannes, where the Cannes Film Festival is held each May. After spending time in this small town with friends,...

Leaving Las Vegas

Nicolas Cage Elisabeth Shue Julian Sands Richard Lewis Steven Weber Kim Adams Emily Procter I was in postproduction on The Browning Version, which was about the time of the really big earthquake here, and it was a strange time to be in Los Angeles. A friend of mine by the name of Stuart Regen gave me a book to read. Stuart Regen runs a gallery here in Los Angeles and is a really, really great guy. It was one of those awkward situations that all filmmakers have experienced when a friend buys a...

The Last Boy Scout

Bruce Willis Damon Wayans Chelsea Field Noble Willingham Taylor Negron Danielle Harris Halle Berry Bruce McGill Badja Djola Kim Coates Chelcie Ross. The Last Boy Scout was written by Shane Black, who also wrote Lethal Weapon. I'm trying to think how I would actually pigeonhole Shane. He's smart, articulate, funny, and very twisted. The twisted part is what came out of the opening sequence of The Last Boy Scout. It was dark and twisted, and it was so outrageous it was funny. This football player...

On Universal Storylines

I read somewhere that most directors tell the same story, and they hone that story over a period of time, and I think that's true in a sense. Probably more true is that, whether the director wrote the script or not, the movie is a diary, in a way, of the directors life. If you watch all the movies in a body of work of the director, you can see his life in a lot of ways. Say Anything for me was about optimism as a revolutionary act. It celebrates the idealist, not in a golly-gee way but in a...