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As a child growing up in a grey-skied Yorkshire village, I would occasionally happen upon a Bollywood movie on the television. After a few minutes watching a bunch of sari-clad dancers cavorting on a Swiss mountain to tuneless music, I would switch over to some proper drama about housing estates and single mothers.
You do need people. You can't live without them. We're all interconnected in some way.
I believe innately in the human spirit being a powerful and positive thing. And that just comes out, whether you like it or not. It comes out in the writing.
I'm a documentary filmmaker by training. You got to start with the real people and the real place.
I'm very lucky. I actually like screenwriting. I rarely feel a sense of doom going to my desk.
For me, as a writer who comes from quite a naturalistic tradition, British screenwriting is quite delicate, quite small, and rarified in a way.
India is desperately romantic, utterly unashamed of its sentimentality, its generosity, its fierce pride and massive heart.
What's important in the filmmaking process has stayed the same. Keep it small, keep it personal, keep it authentic, work with people you like and trust. That process is much longer than the filmmaking process. The development process is a long one, so try and say something of importance.
You write who you are somehow. Even if you try to not to. You can't help but write who you are. I'm just not a very cynical person. I believe in the humanity of people, whether it is just the guys in 'The Full Monty' or Aron Ralston.
When you make a movie, a dramatization based on the real experience of a living subject, you can't airbrush that away into to a perfect movie arc.
There isn't a more important issue in the world than global warming. Even the Cold War and the Bay of Pigs crisis were a notional threat.
I just can't get excited about money as a motivation in a film. It leaves me cold.
In the midst of global recession, in the face of uncertainty about what's going to happen next, film looks for inspiration to real people.
In times of trial, for inspiration, people want to look to real people rather than to fiction.
Real life is messy, and drama is a shaped version of real life.
I guess my approach to adapting books is to treat them with a deep respect on one level and at another level part them to one side and go, 'I'm doing something completely different here.'
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Arthur Conan Doyle
J. B. Priestley
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