I like 'Guys and Dolls,' 'Singin' in the Rain' and 'A Star Is Born.' When it works, a musical is an amazing thing. But it rarely works.
I kept thinking, 'How do you make a modern musical?' Then it became clear that I could do it just like a small indie art-house movie, very naturalistically. I could create a world where it's o.k. to break into song, without an orchestra coming up out of nowhere.
I became interested in film making at around 16, when I discovered a friend of mine had a HI 8 camera which belonged to his father, which we were forbidden to use.
Americans like optimism, and 'Once' walks a tightrope: you feel uplifted at the end even if you're crying.
After a couple of attempts at making shorts, I decided to make a feature film with a friend, Tom Hall, whom I've worked with ever since.
I love actors, and I love good acting. I love what actors do when they're good, and I'm a big acting fan.
I dropped out of school at 17 and joined the Irish band The Frames, getting my first glimpse into the world of professional film making while shooting of a number of rock videos.
I think ultimately audience members like to see someone controlling the quality of a film. A lot of films you see are made by committees and studios and producers.
It's very hard to tell an actor, 'Stop acting.' It's easy to tell a non-actor, because they're embarrassed when they act. They get ashamed when they do something cliche, whereas an actor is happy.
You're more constrained when you're wealthy. Or when you're making a bigger film and people complain about no budgets; but having a small amount of money to make a film means you're at your absolute freest to express yourself as an artist.
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