David Gordon Green Reveals How Nicolas Cage Became A Location Scout On Prince Avalanche

By Katey Rich 2013-08-07 08:05:09discussion comments
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So, when we talked for The Sitter, you said something and then I didnít ask you to follow up on it, which was killing me. I was asking about how it was kind of Ď80s inspired and you were doing these movies that felt like throw-backs and you said, ďIím self-indulgent as a filmmaker in a way I donít apologize for. And then you just kind of moved on from that and I really kind of wanted to figure out whereÖ

Itís true.

Well, yeah, but when I think of self-indulgent, I think of a lot of different stuff than what you do. Like, I think of movies that are 4 hours long.
Iím self-indulgent because I donít like 4 hour long movies. I like 90 minute movies.

So, why is that self-indulgent?
Because Iím making what I like all of the time. Iím indulging myself in my projects. I have a lot of fun working with really cool people and making projects that I really enjoy and have some great reason to make.

When you say, ďI donít apologize for it,Ē do you feel like people are asking you to apologize for it?
No, I donít apologize for being self-indulgent. Like I have a process that I really like, and I donít know, but I do, sometimes people are like, ďWhy would you make that,Ē and Iím like, ďI donít know. It seemed like a great idea. What are you talking about?Ē

You feel like you should just be able to be like, ďI just thought it was funny.Ē
Seemed like a good idea. I donít hold the filmmaking process so sacred. I just like, I explore it like a character actor explores a role, like this is a funny hat, let me put this on and see what happens, or I need to personally express myself in this way that feels profound right now or, you know, or let me go have fun and learn how to choreograph a huge fight sequence in a movie. I donít know. Thereís a million reasons why I would make a movie.

Well, when movies cost, you know, whatever, at least a couple of thousand dollars, itís way more expensive than a hat to try on. That seems like where people are like, ďOk, why do you want to do this? What are you going to do with our money here?Ē
Well, I think thereís a great responsibility of making films, like I make them very responsible. As much as I can, you know, you donít really know how theyíre going to be received, but I never go into a project thinking, Iím going to blow a lot of cash for somebody.

Not even when you have a lot of cash to actually spend?
Iíve never had enough money to make a movie, so I can use those budgetary constraints as creative playgrounds. Like, on Avalanche, everybody got paid 100 bucks a day to come do the movie and thereís no lighting package and thereís, it was pretty good food, pretty good lunches, butÖ

Thatís enough. Thatíll keep people moving.
Yeah, but you donít have any budget to go over schedule. So, you can do it for free and work a little longer, but I kind of like it when itís not a conversation. Nobody is negotiating anything on that movie, because thereís wasnít anything to negotiate with. It was perfect.

If thereíd been more budget, is there stuff that you would have done?
Under different economic terms, I would have done a totally different movie. I would have shot on the moon.

Like on the actual moon?
Sure.

Cause the landscapes are similar.
Absolutely. This could totally be a story that takes place on the moon.

Oh, yeah, like two people, two guys in a space ship.
Helmets instead of hard hats.

You know, at the end of Prometheus, where itís her and Michael Fassbenderís head in a bag. I feel like this could be that.
Maybe it will be. If this is super successful, as I predict it to be.

Yes, it will make just as much money as Prometheus.
Itíll be the blockbuster summer hit of 2013. It will be good. Iím gonna crank it out quick too, with visual effects and everything.

If you could, would you make a movie again with total unknown people? Not that you donít like the relatively famous people youíve worked with, but it seems like you canít make a movie with nobodies in itÖ
Why not?

Öbecause you canít get money for it.
You just have to pay for it yourself or find a benefactor that was willing to lose money. You also have to resign to the fact that most people probably wouldnít go see it, because most people like to go see movies that have movie stars in it. There are some people that dig through the, you know, the rubble and find the crazy little movies that donít have that, but thatís like three a year, maybe.

Yeah, but I mean, enough people have seen George Washington by now.
They have by now, but when it came out nobody saw it. It made like 50,000 bucks.

Yeah, but eventuallyÖ.
A lot of people have seen it now. Itís really cool. I bet it made more money last year than it did the year it came out.

You think so?
I get cost reports. I know.

Oh, nice! I mean itís very rude to talk numbers, but Iím glad that you... So, you know that it made more money last year?
Oh, absolutely. I mean, it made more money three years ago, than it did two years after it came out, Iíll say. Itís consistently gone up.

Cause, I mean, I think I have the disc from Netflix still. Itís not on streaming.
No, but itís an expensive Criterion DVD. You should just buy that.

I try not to buy DVDs. I feel like Iím just going to get stuck with an out of date format.
Me either. I get some screeners every now and again, but I donít purchase DVDs. I donít need the library.

I know, I donít want the stuff.
And I donít watch movies over and over and over like I used to.

Really? Do you feel like you just donít have the time?
The only movies that I ever revisit are like the Before Sunrise movies. I think those were really great to watch over and over again, because I feel like theyíre my friends.
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