Don’t get into this business if it’s about trying to make a million-dollar sale. We’ve got plenty of assholes around trying to achieve that goal. There are more dilettantes in the game than real, committed, I’m-gonna-go-down-swinging kinda people. We need more of the latter and less of the former. We need people who care about this as an art form. Movies should count for more than an opening-weekend gross, because whatever had a huge gross this week, will they be talking about it in fifty years? Will it be credit to the art form, the way we talk about CasablancaFrank Darabont (via scriptwriters-network)

Don’t get into this business if it’s about trying to make a million-dollar sale. We’ve got plenty of assholes around trying to achieve that goal. There are more dilettantes in the game than real, committed, I’m-gonna-go-down-swinging kinda people. We need more of the latter and less of the former. We need people who care about this as an art form. Movies should count for more than an opening-weekend gross, because whatever had a huge gross this week, will they be talking about it in fifty years? Will it be credit to the art form, the way we talk about Casablanca
Frank Darabont (via scriptwriters-network)

two-things-productions
I suppose you could take the safe — the whole purpose of any drama is to unlock the heart of the audience. It’s catharsis. And to allow people to feel. Because we’re so smart. We’re too smart to have sympathy. We have to fake people out in order to allow them to feel, to make it okay for them to have emotions in a work of art. Since we’re supposed to be like, really cool, and have been for a long time.

Jackson De Govia Production Designer from the Die Hard commentary

He continues:

"There’s just something about the decency of Bonnie Bedelia, Takagi, and that hapless police lieutenant, and Reginald VelJohnson, and the maid. Even though you’re rooting for John, the Bruce Willis character, and you love the fact that he’s the avenger — this is who he’s the avenger of! This is who he’s standing for. That’s what a cop is supposed to be. He’s supposed to take care of people that can’t be violent against the people who are, who kill without thinking twice about it. Or cheat or lie or steal. And in that sense he’s an extremely satisfying hero. In a way that is not seen much in modern stories. But in order to get there you have to blow up the building, you have to have all this spectacle to kind of overwhelm our resistance to belief in the fact that when push comes to shove… we really mostly like other people when we get a chance to see them. And these characters in Die Hard are all innately sympathetic. And the villain himself, a wonderful rogue, he’s a wonderful devil because he’s totally aware. That was a really neat trick. He’s the principal of evil but he’s so damn much fun to watch because we would all like to go there but we’re not allowed and there’s a reason — because we’re capable of such awful things. I think that’s enough about the vault."

The story is really satisfying because it comes from patterns that we are born with, that our culture is founded upon. There are structures, just as there are structures in our language that underlie, that are built into all of us. Artists don’t invent, they discover. They give you something that resonates with something that’s inside you and the closer they get to the real deal, the real stuff the gut-level stuff, the longer it’s going to last because it remains satisfying beyond fashion. Beyond period.

Jackson De Govia Production Designer from the Die Hard commentary

He goes on to say:

Die Hard is not unique in that it doesn’t date. Fred Astaire doesn’t date. John Ford doesn’t date. In time this is going to look like a wonderful period movie. Like those films that we loved that we all grew up watching on TV. Because it’s not only of it’s time, it’s beyond it’s time. It’s in deep time. That same old story that’s going on that we all share.”

Man I love this site.

There is no cheating. And more and more I’m beginning to believe that is the secret. Stanislavsky analyzed the character and the play as having a spine, a through-line, an arc. I don’t like arc. Arc is modern. It’s not an arc. It’s a freight train. Unlike Die Hard, the script of Speed was complete. All you had to do was make it. It was obvious. Zip. It’s America. All problems are solved by going faster. This was a work in progress by a bunch of genius that didn’t know they were yet. It was just invented. It had a great structure to begin with, it had a great idea. I think this was one of the first movies that was improvised, in the best sense, because the best improvisation is from the solid rock-hard earth. This is located in reality and theatricality in just a delicious way.
Jackson De Govia Production Designer from the Die Hard commentary
My own notion was that it should be like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespearean comedy. A story that happens on a festival night, it all happens in one night. All the princes turn to asses and all the asses to princes, in the morning the two lovers are united, and everyone goes home for feeling better for what had happened that night. I sort of used it for the guide for the plot. Some specific things, I think in the original script the story happened over three days and I moved it to one day.
John McTiernan from the Die Hard commentary

My notion is that a lot of times what’s expressive in words is the sound of the words rather than the specific meaning of them. This is ridiculous, you don’t want to know anything about all this — but there’s this shrink who’s done all this work with autistic children and it’s a guy who’s given up shrinkdom and is a marketing maven for a lot of large corporations, making million dollars a year telling corporations what people really mean by particular phrases or what they actually thing about some something — and he’s done all this work with autistic children and he’s found that the reason they don’t speak isn’t because they don’t have the mechanism to speak it’s because their emotional equipment is fucked up and consequently they have no reason to speak because speech is first of all not code of meaning, not a way to communicate to others, it is purely a way to translate emotion into noise. And if you have no reason to express emotion as noise you won’t speak. That’s what it is first.

I grew up watching foreign movies, studying foreign movies, and I never bothered to read the subtitles. Often if I saw the movie a second time and did read the subtitles, or certainly if I heard a dubbed film, the movie would fall flat. It was far better when the words were just an expression, were like movie score.

John McTiernan from the Die Hard commentary