This man has just earned a lot of points in my admiration scale thanks to this interview.
On art: You try to go to a producer today and say you want to make a film that hasn’t been made before; they will throw you out because they want the same film that works, that makes money. An essential element of any art is risk. If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before?
On screenwriting: A screenplay has to be like a haiku. It has to be very concise and very clear, minimal. When you go to make it as a film, you’re going to listen to the actors and the photographer because they have great ideas, and then you make the decision that you feel is best. Cinema is collaboration.
On money: I have another job. I make films, but I make the money in the wine industry. You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script. 200 years ago, if you were a composer, the only way you could make money was to travel with the orchestra and be the conductor, because then you’d be paid as a musician. There was no recording. There were no record royalties. This idea of some rock n’ roll singer being rich, that’s not necessarily going to happen anymore. Because, as we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I’m going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money? And therefore, who says artists have to make money? So I would say, “Try to disconnect the idea of cinema with the idea of making a living and money.”
On this last topic, Neil Gaiman has something important to say:
The times they are a-changin’. The debate goes on.