I don't make films that are easy to market, unfortunately. I think that 'Pi' was the easiest one, because we had that symbol to stick up everywhere, so that was a good gimmick, and created a good mystery, and we didn't have to do huge scale.
It would be nice to make a movie that other people want to make, because every one of these movies, I basically have to find the only company in the world that's willing to make it, and it's always a big challenge. I end up spending a tremendous amount of energy and time trying to get money to make these movies and it's exhausting.
I think religion is often very different from spirituality. Religion is often about rules and people trying to control our lives who are actually very unspiritual... God can be found anywhere, and in fact, everywhere. And you don
You hear stories about directors using manipulation to get actors to do certain things, but I think when you're working with professional actors, it's all about trust. They can do anything you want, it's just a matter of them understanding what you're looking for, and the reason why.
CGI means, just to be clear, creating any type of image with a computer. Basically, starting off with nothing, or with images and manipulating them. The way we did it, everything was actual photographed images. A lot of that stuff was shot through a microscope of chemical reactions, yeast growing, lots of weird things, by Peter Parks. We put it into a computer and collaged it, manipulated it. Meaning we digitally shaped it to fit with other images. But there was no computer-generated imagery at all.
I think video games and that stuff should be as violent as possible, but age-appropriate. It should be realistic. When it's not realistic you run into kids running around shooting people and not realizing the consequences.
Classical scores go up and down; they're kind of hysterical in a way. And movie scores are much more - they just drive and move forward, and they build and can't go up and down at that same speed. It's a big job to turn that into something that pushes the movie along.
I think people are people and, if their feelings are truthful, they can connect. It doesn't matter if you're an aging, 50-something wrestler at the end of his career, or an ambitious, 20-something ballet dancer.
I feel that so many sci-fi films and films in general have just become really dependent on and addicted to CGI, and that some of the big CGI films of the summer, you see these effects that look like crap. You don't know if you're watching a cartoon or something that's real. And I didn't want to fall into that trap. I really thought there was a way to use a lot of these old techniques to do some new and really neat stuff.
The only way I know as a director is to figure out what the film is about. And out of the theme and the sense of what the film is about, all those decisions start to make sense. But to find that truth within it, you have to limit your possibilities and limit your choices. That's where this visual language grows out of.
I think that there's an infinite amount of places where you can stick a camera. There's an infinite amount of choices of what could be going on. There's an infinite amount of places for so many things, so you have to figure out how to do your job.
The whole visual language of the movie is developed way before we get to set. Especially when you're doing visual effects and you don't have a lot of money to mess around, which we didn't, you have to really preplan everything. Pretty much every shot in the film was figured out months before we got to set.
I try to live my life where I end up at a point where I have no regrets. So I try to choose the road that I have the most passion on because then you can never really blame yourself for making the wrong choices. You can always say you're following your passion.
I'd like to do a lot of different stuff. I think it's important as a creative person to keep challenging yourself and keep doing new stuff. If you end up trying to repeat yourself it's death. It just becomes boring and takes the passion out of it. You gotta find stories and characters that you really want to hang out with
I wasn't a big fan of social anthropology. And, luckily, that created room for me to work in visual arts because I sort of ignored my requirements. I think I was attracted to social anthropology because I liked to travel and was always interested in far-off places.
These wrestlers aren’t organized. They have no union, no pension and no insurance. You meet wrestler after wrestler who sold out Madison Square Garden ten years ago, basically running on fumes today. There’s a lot of drama there.