A great screenplay makes everybody step up to the bar and deliver.
Actually, yeah, I am an artist. I draw.
After ‘Inconvenient Truth,’ we hit a tipping point where almost everybody in America cares about the environment.
As a director, we work ridiculously hard on every detail, and we do everything to the billionth degree, and mostly people notice nothing.
As a director, you’ve got to have quite a few projects going because you never know which one will actually come together with the financing and get the green light.
As a filmmaker and film student, I think it’s really interesting to hear what a director did and how they figured out how to do things.
As the director, you cannot control what people do after hours or in their trailers or on break. Why would you want to? But you can’t.
As you study vampire legend throughout history, it goes back to almost every culture. South Africa, Indonesia, crazy places have that legend and that idea of immortality.
Back in medieval times, Victorian repression hadn’t come in yet. People were bawdy and wild and more in touch with their true natures. If you look at the Bosch paintings or Bruegel, you see, when people are dancing, they’re totally cutting loose.
Before ‘Twilight’ was greenlit, I had four projects at four studios. I worked super-hard on all of them, but ‘Twilight’ was greenlit first.
Being in construction my whole life – I was trained as an architect – I always had to work with guys. And I always did my homework and then challenged them to figure it out faster than me. They don’t want to be shown up by a woman.
Can you have it all, as a woman? Can you be a creative artist and have stability and a home life? How much can you stretch yourself as an artist?
Every filmmaker’s just going to keep trying to make it the best you can make it: make it as potent and interesting and entertaining and exciting and tough and sexy as you can.
Everything is so aggressively marketed at every age: if you’re not in Baby Gap, you’re not cool. That’s how everybody’s grown up, so they don’t even know it could be another way.
For a film, when you condense, you don’t want to keep going back to the same setting over and over.
For me personally, I put my own pressure on myself. Every job I’ve done as a production designer, I wanted to make every set as excellent, as interesting, as I could make it. Every film I’ve done, I’ve tried to do the best I could within my constraints and budget. So I don’t think that anybody could put any more pressure on me than I put on myself.
How do you fight when you’re trying to pull somebody’s arms off or twist their head off? That makes for a different kind of fight.
I could go my whole life and say, ‘I’m not going to do anything with a love triangle,’ but whenever you have a romance, there has to be some obstacle, and even the dumbest romantic comedies have a love triangle or something.
I don’t like the sterility of the casting office.
I don’t like to watch a movie where it’s just kind of like all one note, dee-dee-dee-dee. I want spikes of adrenaline and highs and lows and exciting tension release.
I had a bunch of other projects that I worked really hard on after ‘Twilight,’ and the magic just didn’t hit.
I had always liked, well, who didn’t love Lestat and fall in love with ‘Interview with the Vampire,’ and ‘Nosferatu,’ and Coppola’s ‘Dracula’ with the awesome costumes? So I loved all that.
I have a bunch of movies that are, like, two minutes from being green-lit, or that they’ve maybe even told me are green-lit. But I never believe it until I see the money.
I hope I haven’t grown up. The cliche for all artists is that you don’t want to lose that child inside. I think when you get sedentary and set in your ways, you can lose a lot of that spontaneity and creativity. I hope I’m holding on to that.
I respect all the teenagers I work with and feel that everything they have to say is just as valuable as anything I have to say.
I still like the idea of having an intimate experience with a movie, but I love watching stuff on my iPad. It’s close, and I feel like I’m a part of it, so maybe that makes more sense in some cases.
I think at any age, you can stay open and creative and excited.
I try to learn on each project, try to really feel what the characters are feeling.
I was always trying to do architectural jam sessions. But it’s not quite as easy as singing or playing a guitar, so I would always see wonderful live musicians and just envy them that I wasn’t in that medium.
I’ll literally pay three Hollywood readers who don’t know me to read my scripts under the radar and give cold comments. And at the early screenings of my movies, I’ll hand out questionnaires that can be filled out anonymously so people can be brutally honest because, to your face, they won’t be.
I’ve had meetings where there were literally, like, 12 angry men in a room and me. And even when everyone shot me down, I somehow dug in one more time.
I’ve worked on really big budget movies as a designer – ‘Vanilla Sky,’ ‘Three Kings;’ I’ve been in that world, and you can just see people get nervous.
If you decide to tell a kid that looks don’t matter, she can prove you wrong every day. Because they see it everywhere. That is age-old, going back to the Greeks, but now we’re bombarded nonstop.
Kids have to experiment a little or figure out where they belong.
My first movie, ‘Thirteen,’ and it was very real – almost too real. It was very gritty, with raw human emotion. I’d love to do something like that again.
Nowadays, to get a movie greenlit, you have to make an incredible effort.
Obviously, ‘Twilight’ had its own alchemy that was amazing, just phenomenal. Nobody thought it was going to make any money. Paramount wouldn’t make the movie. Fox wouldn’t make it. Nobody wanted to do it.
Of course I went and got ‘Breaking Dawn’ at midnight the night it came out and read it instantly. I was like, ‘Yes!’
People are nervous about their kids, and they’re worried about the disintegration of families and the type of media culture they’re living in.
People love to talk, so let them have fun talking.
Sheep are just psychotic.
So many images are saying to girls, ‘Show a lot of skin and look gorgeous and sexy.’
Some directors I worked with didn’t even know how to read a blueprint, understand a plan.
Sometimes, you don’t realize that something is actually a sidetrack for the story, or it takes the tension out of a scene.
Starting with ‘Thirteen,’ my known technique is to cast the lead, then find someone with whom they have incredible chemistry.
Stephenie Meyer said she’s ready to move on from ‘Twilight,’ but you never know.
The boys in junior high get really lewd and say outrageous stuff to the girls. If somebody yelled the stuff at me that I’ve heard at junior high schools I’ve visited, I’d be scared and humiliated.
The script for ‘Thirteen’ is tight, and not because of the now-famous six day writing spree, but more because it started out as 15 pages longer.
There are 2,000 young-adult novels published a year, and hardly any of them ever break out.
There are some moments where you’re so depressed, you cannot see the way, and you’re like, ‘Whatever. Bite me.’ I think all directors feel that way sometimes.
There’s so many versions of ‘Red Riding Hood.’ It goes back 700 years.
We can learn from everybody.
What does ‘dating’ mean? I don’t know. I couldn’t say.
When I read the ‘Twilight’ book, I didn’t see it as fantasy. I saw it as a love story.
When I talk to film students, I always say, ‘Buy the DVDs and listen to the commentaries, look at the making of, look at the behind-the-scenes,’ because that’s such a great learning tool.
When you’re in a creative flow with somebody – and I had this back in architecture school – you’re just so passionate about what you’re doing, and if that other person is just as passionate, you’ll be madly in love with them. It’s just that thrill of creating.
You don’t pay the same price for a Ferrari as you do for a Honda Accord. But for some reason, for movie tickets, you’re asked to pay the same price for ‘Avatar’ as you are for some $2 million movie, which is kind of a weird thing when you think about it.
You don’t watch ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and say, ‘This is how every mathematician is.’
You have a big success, and it’s still not easy to make a movie.
You’re fearless when you’re a kid.
Zombies, mummies – they’re disgusting and gross. You don’t want to make out with a mummy. At least, I don’t.