One of the things I love most about film is that if you can imagine it, you can see it on the screen. Whether it's a city buried in the grass or a planet in a galaxy millions of light years away, those images can come to life and be seen by everyone. That's where it usually starts for me, an image. I'll see a coffee cup sitting alone in a crowded cafe or I'll imagine a cowgirl riding her horse through a field and then my mind takes off. Next thing I know it's three a.m. and I'm still at my laptop banging out a script.
The genre and the story flow and come together in the coming weeks as I discover the characters and their lives. It may sound crazy, but the characters take on a life of their own, it's like they come to life and tell me what to write. They help me discover new sides of myself, so I don't often find myself limited to a certain genre or style. It's freeing to know that I can always try my hand at something new.
If I have one constant its that I love to work with available light. Rarely do I find myself setting up studio lights for a film, only when I need complete control for an effect. This stems from one of my biggest influences Wong Kar-Wai from Hong Kong. His use of natural lighting in Chunking Express and Fallen Angels gives each film a distinct quality of reality. Each time I view them I feel like I'm watching a documentary rather than fictional narrative, and this is something I try to integrate into my own films as well.