Gilroy at Fantastic Fest 2014
|Born||Daniel Christopher Gilroy
June 24, 1959
Santa Monica, California, United States
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College|
|Occupation||Screenwriter, film director|
|Spouse(s)||Rene Russo (m. 1992)|
|Children||Rose (b. 1993)|
|Parent(s)||Frank D. Gilroy (father)
Ruth Dorothy Gaydos (mother)
|Relatives||Tony Gilroy (brother)
John Gilroy (brother)
It's the reality: film is a director's medium, and, ultimately, they are the ones that are in charge, and you have to respect that because somebody has to be in charge. But, yeah, you do reach a point where you want to have your voice come out.
The smorgasbord of images now presented to us is getting bloodier. They're becoming more frequent – almost hourly.
I don't know too many people who, when the TV announcer says, 'Viewer discretion is advised', then turn the TV off. Those are code words for, 'Turn the sound up; this is gonna be really good.'
I reached a point where I'd watched enough directors do the job that I felt I understood it. And it's not that I'm a slow learner and it took me this long; I also was enjoying writing, and I still enjoy writing – I get tremendous satisfaction out of the writing end of it.
Every film you're commissioned to write is all about an arc; usually, the arc is that the world creates a change in the character, usually for the better. To not have an arc, the messages and ideas in the film became more prominent.
I'm often stunned when I come up over Mulholland, and I'm looking down at the Valley, and I can see for thirty miles; I can see the mountains, or all the way to the ocean.
I had written a script called 'Freed,' which I had wanted to direct.
Has Werner Herzog ever said anything that wasn't true? What a brilliant fountain of wisdom. Everything he touches I'm just fascinated by.
One of the things about the '70s films I love – the films 'Nightcrawler' is being compared to, like, 'Taxi Driver' – is that they never put their flawed characters into any one box.
I spend most of my time in a room alone where eight hours go by, and I have no sense of time. I work seven days a week, and I live in this sort of vague subconscious fog a lot.
We rely on editors of blogs or websites and television stations to supply us these images, and the filter is becoming very thin and very porous. The ratings race for TV and websites is incredibly fierce, and one of the ways of getting people to watch is through graphic violent images.
I think there is an enormous sea change happening in the global workforce. It has a lot to do with globalization. I think that people used to have a hope for a career or meaningful employment, and its been reduced to internships, part-time work or just grossly underpaid work.
When I'm writing, I'm trying to access my subconscious and turn off my conscious brain. I use my conscious for research, but when I'm actually writing, I'm trying to get into a place where I'm tapping into the deeper, darker elements of what's going on.
I think a first-time director always has to convince a lot of people that they're ready to do it.
I think there's a connection with 'Nightcrawler' and 'Blowup' and other films where visual imagery is integral to the story. It allows you to play with images.
A sociopath is just a label and doesn't encompass the entire being of a person.
I had heard about the nightcrawling world, and I'm very aware that there are tens of millions of young people around the world who are facing bleak employment prospects.
News has become entertainment. Once that happens, a whole series of horrific events start to happen, whether it's the lack of dissemination of something that can inform you or something that actually negatively impacts society.
I moved to L.A. and watched a lot of local television news, and I started to see the burn logos up on the upper right hand corner – On-Scene Video, RMG Media Group, and all these other ones. I just became intrigued with it.
When an accident or a crime happens, there's a period of time before the yellow tape goes up, before the official response becomes formalized. That allows the nightcrawlers to get very close.
I think Los Angeles is often portrayed as kind of a petri dish, where bad decisions start and then spread to the rest of the world. I don't see it that way. I feel Los Angeles is a place of almost primal struggle and survival. It's not a city that embraces its inhabitants.
I have a strong desire to communicate what I feel about the world. That's exciting to me.
My screenwriting credits in my career are probably not dissimilar to some other ones in the sense that a lot of the scripts you write don't get made, and the ones that do get made are certainly – as a writer, they're not your vision.
The real reason why people are going with digital is that it's extraordinarily mobile, and it's cheaper, and it has a great image, and you just can't beat it at night. It's pulling in variations of colors; it's pulling in lights from 40 miles away – a candle would be seen.
I find Los Angeles to be a place of great physical beauty, in which you have the oceans and the mountains, and there's a vertical sense and a desert light that you can see forever.
In Los Angeles, you drive around, and you're coming back from a club or something, and all of a sudden, you'll encounter a coyote. And they're very lean, hungry-looking animals.
Everything I've ever written, I had a very distinct vision of what I wanted it to look like. But, other directors never do it that way.
There are a lot of sociopaths running around who are probably our friends, if not us, and we don't know it.
A sociopath is not just someone who doesn't care about human emotion. They're someone who understands people to the point that they can manipulate them to an extraordinary degree.
Media is extraordinarily important and is an extraordinarily powerful tool. There's a reason that the first things that a rebellion or revolt will take is the media. The story you transmit is the story that becomes a given, or the narrative of a country and people.
All of us have a bit of a sociopath inside of us, and it's wrong to think that somebody is just clearly sociopathic, because they're not. It's interesting to explore the shadings and nuances within a person. Those feelings exist within more human beings than people may want to acknowledge.
A script like 'Nightcrawler' gives me an opportunity to truly realize a vision that's mine, which is exciting.
Shooting at night in Los Angeles is amazing. The city shuts down at 10 P.M. every night, and a whole different cast of characters comes out.
A number of years ago, I found a book of photography by Weegee; he was a crime photographer in the 1930s in New York. He was the first person to put a police scanner in a car and drive around.
The spirit of L.A. is untamed wilderness. It's earthquakes and wildfires and oceans and mountain lions and fog. There's great physical beauty.
Coming out of the '60s and the Vietnam War in America, it was commonplace for people to make films that had relevance to them. And since the '70s, cinema has gone almost entirely in the direction of spectacle and escapism and superhero films.
A lot of times, L.A. is desaturated, and cement and freeways, and downtown.
I feel that the world is increasingly about the bottom line, and not so much about human respect or human dignity. In that regard, people who care about other people will not be in a position to make choices and do things that other people who they're competing against will get to do.
When I'm directing, I noticed I'm not using my subconscious at all. I'm literally using the whole front part of my brain all the time. When you walk on the set, every moment you have to be there because something's going on that requires attention.
I watch a lot of television, for better or worse, and I am particularly interested in what Michael Moore brought up in 'Bowling for Columbine,' which is the idea that they're selling a narrative of fear.
The friends we have, these are choices that – unlike family, which we have no choice in, and I love my family, thank God – we've given ourselves, to some degree.
'To Die For,' with Nicole Kidman, is great – her desire to be a part of news, how she uses news to further her career and how it can drive you insane. I love that movie.