I never thought about being a writer as I grew up. A writer wasn't something I wanted to be. An outfielder was something to be. Most of what I know about style I learned from Roberto Clemente.
He likes to know things. He checks out book and record collections when he visits people, looks in medicine cabinets, takes inventory in refrigerators. He eaves drops on conversations at public phone booths. He reads murder victims' mail.
Fahrenheit 9/11 took public domain information that should have been on the news every night and put it in a film that a lot of people went to see. But still Bush has never had to answer those charges.
I certainly grew up seeing more movies and television than I read books, but when it came time to do the thing itself you don't have to hire a lot of people to sit down and write a book, so that was the story-telling medium that was available to me.
I made it about a three-day weekend so people wouldn't have to change their clothes a lot. We didn't have an art department; we didn't have a make-up department.
In a movie you have all these logistical problems; all these practical problems. But you're also going to have people come who can do things that you can't do, and you get to direct their talents.
There are genres I don't care for, and I've never worked in those genres, and then sometimes there are people that I haven't liked and I haven't worked for those people. But if I feel like there's a movie that I would like to go see, I'll jump into it.
There was a widespread indignation in the American media. They were saying, 'How can you make a movie during an election that's about politics? What are you doing? Are you trying to influence people's lives?' To which my response was, 'Well, I hope so.
There were not fifteen people in the story department and twenty-five producers and stuff. And Roger had produced 1,000 movies and directed a couple of hundred, and their comments were always very, very specific.
Basically, if you could get a good trailer out of the script, Roger had no objection to you making a really good movie. He liked it if you did. He liked the more cleverness and ingenuity you could bring to it. He just wasn't going to give you any more money.
I probably wouldn't have done as many as I did in one year, which I did when I was trying to raise money.
I take more jobs when I need more money, if I'm investing in films. I take fewer when I don't. Or if something really good comes along, I usually find a way to do a good job on it in the time that I've got.
For me the writing, when I'm going to direct it myself, is really just the first draft, and I don't change it very much; I only change it on average about two lines per movie.
The hardest thing about movie acting is that if you're playing a character who changes within the movie, you've got to do that, but you've got to do it out of sequence, because we never have gotten to shoot in sequence, and that's really, really tough.
I figured somebody wrote a story who had a typewriter and I thought that movies were made by the cowboys and that they just said, 'Okay, you fall off the horse this time.