Alexander Payne quotes

  • What is filmmaking but groping in the dark?
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Dark #Filmmaking

  • All three parts of filmmaking [writing, shooting, editing] contribute to rhytm. You want the script to be a tight as possible, you want the acting to be as efficient as possible on the set, and you have enough coverage to manipulate the rhythm in the editing room, and then in the editing room you want to find the quickest possible version, even if it's a leisurely paced film. I definitely in filmmaking more and more find writing and directing a means to harvest material for editing. It's all about editing.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Writing #Mean #Editing

  • If you were falling in love and you could go back in time and relive a day and see the banal things you did that you'd forgotten about, you'd weep, looking at that day,
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Falling In Love #Forgotten #Go Back In Time

  • I don't think so much about verbal comedy. I always think about visual comedy. I was raised watching silents, and I'm always thinking about how to make cinema, not good talking - although I want good talking. I'm much more interested in framing, composition, and orchestration of bodies in space, and so forth. My goal is always what Chuck Jones wanted his Warner Brothers cartoons to be, which was if you turn down the sound, you could still tell what's going on. I think if you watch most of my films with the sound off, you could still tell what's going on.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Brother #Thinking #Talking

  • I like actors who, when you see them on screen, you sense a person, not just an actor.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Actors #Persons

  • My editor and I remain very disciplined. It's just sometimes when you're making a film, you get into the cutting room and you see a scene that's slowing you down in a certain section, but if you remove that scene then, emotionally or story-wise, another scene a half-hour later won't have the same impact. You just get stuck with it.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Wise #Cutting #Impact

  • I think a badly crafted, great idea for a new film with a ton of spelling mistakes is just 100 times better than a well-crafted stale script.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Mistake #Thinking #Ideas

  • I could never be a part of an adaptation of a film where there's pressure to not disappoint the immense fan base. In those cases, they often wind up with filmed books on tape, quite uncinematic. Having said that, I'd say all the adaptations I've done are quite faithful to the original. You have to pick and choose which storylines and plot threads, because you don't have the time to kill in the film as they have in novels. All those pages with detours and plots and different storylines. But films add a lot, and you gotta keep it moving.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Moving #Book #Wind

  • I think cynicism lasts. Sentimentality ages, dates quickly.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Thinking #Age #Lasts

  • Comedy is a wonderful device for distance that allows us to look at what we're talking about with some degree of distance and hopefully with a bit more perspective and honesty. With many exceptions, a movie with no jokes is far less appealing to me.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Honesty #Distance #Talking

  • The kindest thing a director can do is look with open eyes at everything.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Eye #Directors #Looks

  • I like voice-over in films, and most of my films have been voice-over films.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Voice #Film #Voice Over

  • I think if you watch most of my films with the sound off, you could still tell what's going on.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Thinking #Sound #Watches

  • I think that Peter Jennings is the only decent one of the big three.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Thinking #Three #Peter

  • I want all of my films to belong to me.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Want #Film

  • Joe E. Lewis said, 'Money doesn't buy happiness but it calms the nerves.' And that is how I feel about a film being well-received.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Nerves #Calm #Film

  • The actors are the greatest executors of tone in a film. They're the most important cinematic component.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Important #Actors #Tone

  • There is an audience out there for literate films - slower, more observant, more human films, and they deserve to be made.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Film #Made #Audience

  • It seems that our politicians see the world in black and white, so why not our artists? Did Woody Allen's 'Manhattan' have to be in black and white? No. But is it fantastic that it was? To see New York like that? Yes!
    -- Alexander Payne

    #New York #Black And White #Artist

  • You just never know when you're living in a golden age.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Age #Golden #Golden Age

  • Somewhat dramatic things happen, and you don't even always notice them — that's what life is.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Life Is #Dramatic #Things Happen

  • Marketing has supplanted story as the primary force behind the worthiness of making a film, and that's a very sad thing. It's film only as a function of consumerism rather than as an important component of our culture, and that's everywhere around the world.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Marketing #Important #Culture

  • Hollywood films have become a cesspool of formula and it's up to us to try to change it... I feel like a preacher! But it's really true. I feel personally responsible for the future of American cinema. Me personally.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Trying #Hollywood #Cinema

  • I still have energy and some degree of youth, which is what a filmmaker needs.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Energy #Degrees #Needs

  • I never wanted money worries to slow me down or make me take a job I didn't want.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Jobs #Worry #Want

  • I mean, look, I love movies, not just the ones I make... In fact, I don't like the movies I make very much.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Mean Girls #Movie Love #Looks

  • I'm hoping one day I can make one really good film.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #One Day #Film

  • When you're a houseguest and you leave, it's nice to straighten something up or send your hosts a useful gift. And when you leave the planet, it's nice to have made a positive contribution.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Nice #Host #Made

  • A book suggests a whole world and story that I could have never thought of in a million years.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Book #Years #Stories

  • A pitfall of making a comedy with a studio-and it's also an American cultural thing-is that I get tired of being encouraged to go always for laughs.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Tired #Laughing #Pitfalls

  • Each one of my movies becomes easier to get off the ground.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Easier

  • I always wanted 'Sideways' to be like a great 1960s Italian film.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Italian #Film #Sideways

  • I definitely in filmmaking more and more find writing and directing a means to harvest material for editing. It's all about editing.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Writing #Mean #Editing

  • I don't feel despair because I am able to make the films I want to make, and that gives me hope.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Giving #Despair #Want

  • I don't want all of American cinema to be big cartoons that are just made to be digested by the entire world.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Cartoon #Cinema #World

  • The best cinema is about ethics.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Cinema #Ethics

  • I like to think of film-making not just as an act of personal self-aggrandisement but rather as an act of public service.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Thinking #Self #Film

  • As the years go by and I make more films, I am increasingly interested in capturing place as a vivid backdrop for my films.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Years #Vivid #Film

  • Even if we die at 100, we're still dying young. I want at least 700 years. There's a lot of travelling and books to read and movies to see. I'm not going to squeeze it all in in 85 years.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Book #Years #Dying

  • The biggest fear I have is to die with regrets, and of course that will come true.
    -- Alexander Payne

    #Regret