Guillermo is an amazing interview – when he gets the right questions, he can really give you some food for thought. Sometimes I find his words downright inspiring. I just love to hear what the man has to say. And sometimes, I get REALLY lucky and stumble on a great interview that isn’t just his thougths on certain project, but really delves into his core beliefs as a filmmaker – and that to me is great reading.
So today I found a Q&A with GDT from Deadline.com from the Toronto Film Festival (Guillermo is there promoting JULIA’S EYES). It is a great, great read – check it out here.
For posterity’s sake, here are some of the quotes that I particularly enjoyed, or found enlightening.
“When the economic crisis hit, we were in the middle of the largest box office year in the history of cinema. Everybody got conservative, and the contraction led to a dismal things. It won’t get better unless you get bold. This timidity has done a lot of damage in the most fragile places. Imagine, there is almost no possibility for a foreign language film to be distributed in America right now. That doesn’t just make the industry poorer, it makes the landscape of cinema poorer, in America. The impossibility to get a good release on a really good European, Latin American, Asian movie is a tragedy.”
“In Julia’s Eyes, Guillem put in the screenplay that for the next 20 minutes, while Julia has bandages on her eyes, the audience won’t see the faces of the characters. We will hide them.’ I told him, that’s nice to say, but you can’t. He said, you’ll see. I didn’t believe it, but then you see the movie, and it’s fantastically daring. It’s easy in retrospect to say, of course Guillermo would produce The Orphanage. But when you haven’t made the movie or seen any work by that filmmaker, it’s a true bet and you are putting your name on the line and saying to the director, either we both swim to land, or we sink together.”
“When I was going to produce The Orphanage with Bayona, I had a lot of notes, and out of 20, Antonio took 2. My notes took the movie in such a different direction, which is what I thought it should be, that I told Juan Antonio, I’ll come on board, but I want to remake the movie after, as producer. I believe there is a second chance at the same tale, from a very different perspective.” (Interesting – I had never guessed that GDT had an English remake in the mind from the beginning)
“When I see a short schedule, my question to the director is, are you really comfortable with this, or are you doing it to be a good boy? At the end, you only win the medal if the film is good, you don’t win a medal if the movie is on time.”
(On ATMOM) “Part of my speech was, I’m putting all the chips I have accumulated in 20 years as a director, betting them on a single number. This is not just a movie and then move on to the next. It’s do or die time for me. Cameron does his movies like that every time and I find it surprising the way people judge success in retrospect, like, of course, I would have done that. Avatar was the largest gamble, again, so were Titanic and Terminator 2. I love that type of filmmaker, with those gigantic stainless steel balls, Alec Baldwin-style in Glengarry Glen Ross, fucking clanking together. You can’t explain success in retrospect. The moment you leap into the void, that moment is impossible to negate, after success. He leaped into the void. Peter Jackson leaped into the void with The Lord or the Rings. George Lucas did with Star Wars.”
“This is the time to be bold. There is a saying in Spanish, ‘The raging river is a fisherman’s gain.’ Which means, when the river is raging, few people jump in, but they bring out a lot of fish. This is the time to be bold. If we are not, the self fulfilling prophecy is dying. I love that Chris Nolan did Inception. He did it because he can, but I assure you, this was not easy to push through. Whether bold movies succeed or fail, they don’t go unnoticed. Movies that are timid definitely are not succeeding in this time. The problem we have as a craft and artistry medium, we can only hope to be defined by our hearts.”
Read the whole article yourself and post your reactions below!