I always loved silent movies. I was not a specialist, but I loved them. And when I started directing, I became really fascinated by the format - how it works, the device of the silent movie. It's not the same form of expression as a talkie. The lack of sounds makes you participate in the storytelling.
I thought 'The Artist' was a perfect way to find a good balance. The artistic challenge is obvious because the film is black-and-white and its silent, but I did my best to make the movie accessible and easy to watch. I really don't want to make elitist movies. I really try hard to work for the audience. Audiences are smart. They get everything.
I try to respect the rules of the silent movies and I tried to make signification to make sense, and also the crew were very good and the fact that we shot in LA in the real Hollywood, studios and houses. We shot in the bed of Mary Pickford, and you cannot be any more accurate than that, so that helped a lot.
I watched a lot of silent directors who were absolutely great like John Ford and Fritz Lang, Tod Browning, and also some very modern directors like The Coen Brothers. The directors take the freedom within their own movies to be melodramatic or funny when they chose to be. They do whatever they want and they don't care about the genre.