So, when we talked for The Sitter, you said something and then I didn’t ask you to follow up on it, which was killing me. I was asking about how it was kind of ‘80s inspired and you were doing these movies that felt like throw-backs and you said, “I’m self-indulgent as a filmmaker in a way I don’t apologize for. And then you just kind of moved on from that and I really kind of wanted to figure out where…
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.
I’m self-indulgent because I don’t like 4 hour long movies. I like 90 minute movies.
So, why is that self-indulgent?
Because I’m making what I like all of the time. I’m 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, “I don’t apologize for it,” do you feel like people are asking you to apologize for it?
No, I don’t apologize for being self-indulgent. Like I have a process that I really like, and I don’t know, but I do, sometimes people are like, “Why would you make that,” and I’m like, “I don’t know. It seemed like a great idea. What are you talking about?”
You feel like you should just be able to be like, “I just thought it was funny.”
Seemed like a good idea. I don’t 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 don’t know. There’s a million reasons why I would make a movie.
Well, when movies cost, you know, whatever, at least a couple of thousand dollars, it’s way more expensive than a hat to try on. That seems like where people are like, “Ok, why do you want to do this? What are you going to do with our money here?”
Well, I think there’s a great responsibility of making films, like I make them very responsible. As much as I can, you know, you don’t really know how they’re going to be received, but I never go into a project thinking, I’m going to blow a lot of cash for somebody.
Not even when you have a lot of cash to actually spend?
I’ve 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 there’s no lighting package and there’s, it was pretty good food, pretty good lunches, but…
That’s enough. That’ll keep people moving.
Yeah, but you don’t 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 it’s not a conversation. Nobody is negotiating anything on that movie, because there’s wasn’t anything to negotiate with. It was perfect.
If there’d 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?
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 it’s her and Michael Fassbender’s 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.
It’ll be the blockbuster summer hit of 2013. It will be good. I’m 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 don’t like the relatively famous people you’ve worked with, but it seems like you can’t make a movie with nobodies in it…
…because you can’t 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 wouldn’t 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 don’t have that, but that’s 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 eventually….
A lot of people have seen it now. It’s 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 it’s very rude to talk numbers, but I’m 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, I’ll say. It’s consistently gone up.
Cause, I mean, I think I have the disc from Netflix still. It’s not on streaming.
No, but it’s an expensive Criterion DVD. You should just buy that.
I try not to buy DVDs. I feel like I’m just going to get stuck with an out of date format.
Me either. I get some screeners every now and again, but I don’t purchase DVDs. I don’t need the library.
I know, I don’t want the stuff.
And I don’t watch movies over and over and over like I used to.
Really? Do you feel like you just don’t 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 they’re my friends.