Shane Black quotes

  • You have to keep surprising your audience.
    -- Shane Black

    #Audience #Surprising

  • If you're doing something on an interesting scale that involves an entire universe of characters, one way to unite them is to have them all undergo a common experience, and there is something at Christmas that unites everybody. It already sets a stage within the stage.
    -- Shane Black

    #Character #Interesting #Way

  • An action movie should, like any other, follow the narrative traditions of literature. That means there should be subtlety, a slow build and a gradual bringing together of all the separate threads of the plot. To see all of it coming together slowly is very rewarding for the audience.
    -- Shane Black

    #Mean #Together #Literature

  • Here's what I didn't know when I was starting out that I now know…I thought when you were starting out it was really hard to write because you hadn't broken in yet, you hadn't really hit your stride yet. What I found out paradoxically is that the next script you write doesn't get easier because you wrote one before…each one gets harder by a factor of 10.
    -- Shane Black

    #Writing #Broken #Next

  • I've turned down lots and lots of work. Things that could have made me some money.
    -- Shane Black

    #Made #Turned Down

  • Writing scripts is a laborious job that can be a real pain.
    -- Shane Black

    #Jobs #Pain #Real

  • An action film can have too much action; picture an equaliser on a stereo, with all the knobs pegged at 10. It becomes a cacophony and is, ultimately, quite boring.
    -- Shane Black

    #Too Much #Cacophony #Action

  • I'll say, what makes me happy about making movies is, every once in a while through movies we find a kind of honesty. There's an honesty in fiction that's as effective or even more powerful than the honesty of our lives. We can find something that's genuinely true, like a chemistry between people or a statement that speaks to an audience.
    -- Shane Black

    #Honesty #Powerful #People

  • I'm ashamed to say this, but I watched every episode of 'Starsky and Hutch' as a kid. I loved that show, but now I think it's stupid - they'd have a car chase for no reason, then Paul Michael Glaser would shoot the car and it would blow up.
    -- Shane Black

    #Stupid #Kids #Blow

  • Once I started selling scripts for a great deal of money - action scripts, no less, which people tend to pooh-pooh anyway - then I started to get some backlash. Which I didn't mind.
    -- Shane Black

    #People #Mind #Scripts

  • Probably my favorite piece of music, as an album taken as a whole, is Bruce Springsteen's 'Greetings from Asbury Park.' I just think it's incredibly pure. It's a sound that sort of broke new ground, and I think it paved the way for a hundred people that sound very similar.
    -- Shane Black

    #Taken #Thinking #People

  • The worst of the action films are the ones where everything is one shout from beginning to finish. And there's no differentiation between beats, like small or big, or quiet or expansive. It's all just one loud shout.
    -- Shane Black

    #Differentiation #Action #Quiet

  • I think it's very admirable, in a superhero movie, to be able to take a few risks.
    -- Shane Black

    #Thinking #Superhero #Risk

  • I love the idea of a super villain that doesn't wear a cape, that doesn't wear a super suit.
    -- Shane Black

    #Ideas #Suits #Capes

  • I have these guilty pleasures, these failed films that don't work at all, but I'll watch them if they're on. Like 'The Game.
    -- Shane Black

    #Games #Watches #Film

  • Directing comes closer than anything I’ve found yet to providing me with a good reason to get up in the morning that goes beyond just getting some money. Because all the money does is buy the bed. Getting out of it is the problem.
    -- Shane Black

    #Morning #Doe #Bed

  • I do think the challenge, in a way for me, is to write a narrative film and when you finish watching it you feel like it's a collage. You tell the narrative, you tell the story, but you feel like you've created this tapestry. But it also has a shape, a story. So I think there's a middle ground I try to strike . . . away from where everyone else seems ready to go, which is, setup, payoff. You know, He's afraid of water, oh, and at the end he's swimming in water - Oh, my God. I hate that stuff.
    -- Shane Black

    #Hate #Writing #Swimming

  • I think about the audience in the sense that I serve as my own audience. I have to please myself the way, if I saw the movie in a theater, I would be pleased. Do I think about catering to an audience? No.
    -- Shane Black

    #Thinking #Way #Saws

  • I have a shoebox: for ideas, fragments, snatches of conversation I hear. I scrawl it down, throw the scraps in the box. Every time I start a new script I start picking through the pieces. Suddenly you get five pieces together and think: this is almost the first Act of a movie, if I flesh it out a bit.
    -- Shane Black

    #Thinking #Ideas #Together

  • Any time anyone fires bullets in an action movie that don't hit the target it immediately undermines the movie.
    -- Shane Black

    #Fire #Target #Bullets

  • For years I was doing the excruciating weightlifting of writing scripts - but then I stayed thin and someone else got all the muscles.
    -- Shane Black

    #Writing #Years #Scripts

  • I always have humour in my action movies. I think characters that make jokes under fire are more real. It somehow helps put you in their shoes.
    -- Shane Black

    #Real #Character #Thinking

  • I don't mind women who want to act. That's fine. It's odd that men want to act, in that there's still a degree of vanity associated with it.
    -- Shane Black

    #Men #Vanity #Mind

  • I hate 'The Professional.' It's one of the worst action/adventure movies ever made.
    -- Shane Black

    #Hate #Adventure #Action

  • I owe a great deal of thanks to this man who will be gracious enough to say I've helped him with his career and comeback, but it's every bit the opposite.
    -- Shane Black

    #Men #Opposites #Careers