Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Greengrass: Be a difficult director

Paul Greengrass joked directors have to be difficult

Paul Greengrass has joked that directors have to be difficult if they want to be successful.

The Oscar-nominated Captain Phillips filmmaker was delivering the annual David Lean lecture at Bafta's London headquarters, named in honour of the film-maker who co-founded the organisation in 1947.

"You have to be prepared to be arsey," he joked, according to BBC News.

"You've got to be singular, and if necessary you've got to be unutterably difficult," he continued, adding: "You have to have something to say, and you have to burn with a great desire to say it."

Paul, whose films include The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum and Green Zone, called for more encouragement to "nurture" new filmmakers.

"Of the directors in the UK lucky enough to make a film, only a tiny, tiny percentage ever get a second chance. To put that another way, most British films, and it's well over 80 per cent, are made by inexperienced first-time directors," he said.

The 58-year-old, who is president of the professional body Director's UK, started working on the small screen, with Bloody Sunday and TV dramatisations of the Omagh bombings and Stephen Lawrence's murder. He admitted TV was an ideal training ground for him to find his voice.

"Television gave me a world to explore, a way to be, a language to use, something to aim at," he explained.

He said today's TV directors were being sidelined and sometimes "excluded" from the cutting room. He added: "And of course if you complain, you're blacklisted. The next generation, the lifeblood of our industry's future is being destroyed."

He also revealed that his desire to make movies came from "childhood loneliness and childhood experiences of domestic conflicts", saying that the cinema offered him an escape.

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