You can drain the life and nuances and complexity out of things by homogenizing them to make everything harmoniously dull, flat, conflict-free, strife-free.
I mean, in 'Big' and 'Pleasantville,' it's a journey that the characters go on where I think they come to kind of meet themselves at the end and who they actually are and give full voice to who they actually are. And that, you know, obviously fascinates me for some reason. Maybe I didn't adequately grow up.
What works about fairy tales is that they endure, and the great thing about fairy tales is that you can explore big, epic things that you can't really explore in other situations.
Obviously I love 'The Godfather' movies. I think they're phenomenal.
There's nothing I'd rather do than sort of, you know, sit at my computer and rhyme.
I don't understand people who dream in black and white. I just don't get it. My dreams have always been vivid color.
Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct 'Catching Fire.' As a writer and a director, I simply don't have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make, because of the fixed and tight production schedule.
'Pleasantville' seems tonally ambitious, but it can handle a wide breadth of tone because it's so fanciful.
I think movies do play a valuable role in turning people on to the act of reading. I think that phenomenon just creates readers. At first they're going to love 'Harry Potter,' or they may love 'The Hunger Games,' but after that, they're going to love the act of reading and wonder, 'What else can I read?'
You can't tell your kids to read if you're just watching television. They have to see you read. And in that respect, I think it's important to walk the walk. It's a wonderful shared time.
I think the CG is an instrument to create reality. I don't think it's an instrument to create a heightened reality.
I tend to love actors. I was trained as an actor first so I'm drawn to actors.
People who want to be a star get their teeth capped. People who want to be an actor get to work.
I mean, what is racism? Racism is a projection of our own fears onto another person. What is sexism? It's our own vulnerability about our potency and masculinity projected as our need to subjugate another person, you know? Fascism, the same thing: People are trying to untidy our state, so I legislate as a way of controlling my environment.
There's something so wonderful about writing in rhyme where it isn't just the meaning of the words, it's the music to the words and the shape and the sound.
The great seats of power tend to be wide and open, not vertical and soaring. Red Square, Tiananmen Square, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin – all massive but with large open spaces that project an image of might.
If there's a 13- or 14-year old kid who is yearning for something beyond the social forces in his own world, in his own neighborhood, the library is the only place where he can go to find that. It was exciting and thrilling to me all the time I worked in the library. It's such a force for social good and it can do so much.
Most modern science fiction went to school on 'Dune.' Even 'Harry Potter' with its 'boy protagonist who has not yet grown into his destiny' shares a common theme. When I read it for the first time, I felt like I had learned another language, mastered a new culture, adopted a new religion.
We repress the things we're scared of, but if we just look at and embrace the things we're scared of, it's a much fuller, richer life that's also not as scary.
Why is every great children's story about a journey? Maybe that's because we are always on one.
Any director, if you really ask them, will tell you that the toughest thing to do is like a dinner table or a dialogue scene, because you need to keep that electricity maintained throughout the course of the film.
The dynamic range of a digital camera is not that much greater than film, particularly if you push the ASA a little bit.
I loved making 'The Hunger Games' – it was the happiest experience of my professional life. Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results.
I love design-based stuff. I dug it in 'Pleasantville' and dug it in 'Seabiscuit.'
You have to listen to the movie while you're making it. I think that's important.
History is full of examples of people who clamp down after they began to enjoy too much freedom. Freedom can lead to instability, anarchy, and confusion. So there can be a moral counter-revolution.
Horseracing already has the highest mortality rate of any sport in the world per capita to the people who do it. If you crash in Nascar you still have a roll bar, and a cage, and a lot of protection. It's built to crash, but if you fall off a racehorse we all know what can happen, so it's tremendously dangerous.
There are not many people on Team Gary. Actually, it's two people. My kids.
Ultimately, so much Dr. Seuss is about empowerment. He invites us to disappear into our imagination and then blows the doors off what that can mean.
'Dr. Strangelove' was and is one of my favorite movies ever, and I just can't believe they actually blew up the world after that.
Now, I just made an animated movie a few years ago, 'The Tale of Desperaux', and that had twelve hundred shots in it. Twelve hundred CG shots is a pretty big plan.
In a complex and troubling world, who wouldn't want to simplify? Everybody does. Everybody wants to simplify and put up a picket fence.
I mean, the wonderful thing about writing a book is that you're getting a finished product at the end of the day. You're communicating directly with the reader.
As time goes by the memories of sitting on the edge of a bed and reading aloud with your kid are going to be very meaningful in your own mental scrapbook.
Really, each era has its own false nostalgia. We all put a picket fence up around something. For my generation it was the '50s, and for other generations it will be something else. Change is scary for everyone, as is complexity, contradiction, and an uncertain future.
My '50s were different than other people's '50s. The myth didn't permeate our world, 'Donna Reed' and all that. I longed for that, I wanted to be like other normal families on TV.
Family entertainment is really very necessary in our culture. Look how profitable they are. It's almost not discretionary. You need to take your family to the movies.
I love 'Chaplin'; I mean I really love 'Chaplin.' I just think there's a grace and an elegance that's almost never been matched.
If you look at the opening of 'Private Ryan,' you are so in the point of view of those guys and there is a whole world swirling all around them. You are learning that geography as they are learning it.
It's interesting – in 'Fail Safe,' as well, they didn't back off. We were raised with kind of this spectrum of that Armageddon and lived under it, so those were probably the films. 'Fail Safe' sort of haunted me.
I wasn't going to make a slick, glossy over-produced piece of entertainment because then I would be doing what the Capitol did. Then I'm actually putting on the Hunger Games and not making a movie of the 'Hunger Games.'
'Harry Potter' created a generation of readers in an era when kids could have disappeared into the depths of the Internet. That's no small feat. Every book series owes J.K. Rowling a debt of gratitude.