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Well, I think that part of being young is not exactly knowing why you do some of the things that you do. And it's by exploring your life or experimenting or making mistakes and learning from them hopefully that you start to forge an identity.
If you are in a movie theater, you can look two people down and they are laughing while you are laughing or you can look three people down and they love that song that you love. It is living proof that you are not alone.
As people get older, we all know, you get married and you have a child and that becomes your family, but when you're 16 years old, especially, your family is your friends.
I found, through the process of doing 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower,' that I really love directing movies and I love writing books and so this will become the centerpiece of my career for the next ten or twenty years. Doing these adaptations.
'Rent' was a special project for me. It was my first notable screenplay job. I worked with two wonderful directors on it, starting with Spike Lee in the summer of 2001. I wrote a draft for Spike and he was really good to me.
When I did a study of all the coming-of-age movies that meant a lot to me, whether it was 'The Graduate' or 'Rebel Without a Cause' or 'Dead Poet's Society,' they all had that timeless feel. None of them were completely married to the details of their age. They felt timeless in their treatment of it. That's what made them resonate with me.
As we all know, when you're an athlete things are a little bit easier for you. It didn't mean that what was going on inside my heart wasn't a bit of a thunderstorm, but outwardly I got along ok. I was really shy in seventh grade.
'Harold and Maude' was a seminal movie for me because it's not only a beautiful love story, but it's also about the moment when misfits find each other.
Most of the people I know who were raised to be accommodating or were raised to just be nice and put everybody's needs ahead of theirs, there comes a moment when the pressure builds and they can't do it anymore. They have needs and they feel neglected and they usually explode.
When you think back to your first kiss, your hair is perfect and she was wearing a cool outfit. We remember it with restraint and we remember it with style. We remember it as idealistically as you can think.
Movies, by nature, are not subjective, they're objective.
Music is a vital part of my life, and it has been since I was a kid. It helped me find my identity as a person, it helped me find my identity as an artist, and it helped me get in touch with emotions that I didn't know I had.
The girl that introduced The Smiths' song 'Asleep' to me was an important musical influence that I met in college. From there it's been an ongoing journey of different bands at different times, introducing bands and songs to me.
Those writers that have zero say in their movie adaptations have zero say because they sell it. If you don't sell it, and you do it yourself, and you wait until the screenplay is ready, you don't have to worry about that.
I would make the movie industry more like the television industry. TV is more material driven. In TV, you can break new stars. TV can take more chances.
'Rent' was wonderful in that I was able to adapt something that was beloved to fans, something that was very iconic, but something I had nothing to do with the creation of, so I was very removed. 'Perks' is different because it was my book.
I want to be an author/director and I'm writing my second book now and I want to make a movie of it, and I hope I get to do this for the rest of my life.
If the right thing came along, I would absolutely direct something I did not write because I love the process so much, but we'll see. I'm taking it day by day.
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