Quentin Tarantino 20 Years Of Film making [2012]


quinton I met through a friend of ours
Scott Spiegel I produce this little movie with Scott it was my first movie
was called intruder Sam Raimi was in it and the whole thing took place in the
grocery store and it was really funny because you know I was trying to be a
producer and I read the screenplay to romance which I loved and I’m Scott
introduced me to him I met Quentin at Scott’s house I things
like a 4th of July party and I go Oh Quentin Tarantino I’ve read a script by
a name very similar to that called true a manse he goes that’s me I don’t think
so because no no that was me I go really I love I couldn’t he was trying to
convince me that he actually had written the script and I’d loved I said I love
that script was fantastic and he had Natural Born Killers already at that
point of written that but he was getting tired of trying to get that made and so
he said I’m gonna write this script Reservoir Dogs and it’s about a bunch of
guys they do what you really heist and it all takes place like in a garage or
someplace where they all come back afterwards and he’s actually attending
it originated for everyone to get away and of course that doesn’t quite happen
which is one of things that’s great about the way Quentin writes is that he
starts off with his intention and putting Crazy’s characters but then the
characters write the movie in a sense he is in a sense God but he’s infused these
characters with his ethos and they ends up walking through this world and create
this world and at the end of the movie they created a different scenario than
he had a kind of story that was originally drehs where dogs was gonna be
shot for like thirty thousand bucks Quentin was gonna do it with just him
and a bunch of his friends he said you know we’ll do it black and white
16-millimeter I’ll play mr. pink you know you’ll play one of the characters
and and I read the script oh this is just it’s better than that you need to
let me go out and raise some money and he says I don’t want to wait I’m a
director who has not directed therefore I don’t exist and I’m not gonna wait I
am NOT gonna wait years to raise money meanwhile my friend Chris Brancato who’s
a big TV show runner now he was a good friend of mine and a young
writer and his roommate was Lawrence bender Lawrence bender was peeing on
another one of their friends music videos and I knew Lawrence a little bit
also and when I first started working at Jersey films
I would always comb through the films in pre-production chart and and I’d always
see if there were really good actors working with directors I had never heard
of and so then I would get the scripts and I would do the research and there
was the script Reservoir Dogs and it had all these amazing actors in it so I got
my hands on the script and I read it and then I started calling it was actually
Scott Zimmermann at William Morris I think his name was and he was Quentin’s
original agent before Mike Simpson Mike came on board in the process and Lise
Tolman who was working for this guy Scott read it and said this is really
great and he got Mike involved and Mike became Quentin’s agent you know the
script had started to make the rounds around town and we were we were really
focusing on the independent market at that time and one of the guys came in
and told me hey this script I read it it’s just really amazing you’ve got to
cancel whatever you’re doing tonight because this guy’s coming in tomorrow to
have the casting meeting you got to read it I said well I’ve got to do this that
and the other the other thing really it’s really really good and I said
you’re sure he goes yeah I said okay so I cancelled whatever I was gonna do and
I stayed home and read it that night and sure enough it was like you know one of
the best scripts I’d ever read maybe at that time it was the best script I’ve
ever read I remember reading the script for the
first time and it’s so funny because every script I’ve read of Quentin
subsequently I’ve had almost the identical reaction but I sat in my
office and I was reading the opening scene when they’re in a diner and
they’re doing the Madonna dialogue and the dick dick dick and all that stuff
and I remember calling Howard and Bob into my office and saying I’ve never
read anything like this in my life it’s the first time I’m reading
characters talking and each one of them has a voice and it and I believe
everything that I read on the page that he had written and so often when you
read scripts you have to put a face to that voice and what I loved about his
writing was he he put that face in your head and I just remember reading it and
just going oh my god I’ve I’ve never read anything like this it was just it
blew me away the other thing about about Quentin and the world of home video at
the time you know part of how Lawrence ended up in his partnership with Quentin
was that he knew Harvey Keitel’s acting coach and there was a home video company
that Richard Gladstein worked for live entertainment if you had Harvey Keitel
you got 1.5 million dollars to make your movie and since Lawrence knew somebody
who knew Harvey he said just give me a month because Quentin had been burned by
all the permutations of when he was going to direct true romance when he
wasn’t so basically Lawrence said please give me 30 days we’re making Reservoir
Dogs I’m still in acting class and I’m a PA on movie sets and commercials to make
money and my acting teacher said had anyone in the world who do you want to
be in this movie and coordinate had talked about this quite a bit and Harvey
Keitel was our dream so Peter floated my acting teacher at
the time his wife was also an acting teacher Lily Parker Lily was a member of
the Actors Studio and Lily gave the script to Harvey Keitel and I’ll never
forget I was at my girlfriend’s house at the time and I checked my messages on my
machine and I get a message from Harvey Keitel
that’s like this life-changing message that I will never forget I just when I
didn’t I just want to shoot myself I didn’t save this message but I’m like hi
Lawrence its Harvey Keitel calling I just read this script Reservoir Dogs and
this fella Quentin Tarantino is really talented and I’d love to help in any way
I can please give me a call it was like my dreams were coming about to come true
and this just just paradigm shift the kind of phone
call so um we all went over to his house Quentin and where’s your glass Cena
myself and Harvey Keitel’s bringing a salad suppressor hose you’re like wait a
minute we’re in a movie Harvey Keitel’s bring us an expressed I felt like I was
in one of the movies that was it and so yes so so Harvey became attached to the
movie and that was the thing that was it enabled us to actually green lights with
Harvey attached at the budget that we were at enabled us to green light the
movie title was Godfather the minute that I got the script and one of the
reasons why I read it was Harvey Keitel wants to be in this movie I first read
the script of Reservoir Dogs when Monte Hellman sent it to me I had made a film
with MA the years before Monte called me up and said I have the script for you to
read I said I assume you want to direct it said I would love to but there’s this
kid who wrote it who’s going to direct it and for some reason Monte dropped the
script off at my house and I worked in live entertainment home video company
ice for some reason on my way into my house I opened up the thing I started
reading it and there’s no description of the characters whatsoever
it just says five guys black suits sit around a diner and then the dialogue
starts and I just started reading it and I was immediately just completely
freaked out by it and loved it and I remember halfway through I stopped
because I said there’s no way it’s going to be able to sustain and so I stopped
and I took a walk and then I came back and I finished it and we made the movie
like four months later so we’re prepping the movie and we’re
getting everything for free we’re in working out of someone’s plays
and we’re casting on the Fox lot and we’re on ES cool was our casting
director at the time and so we’re casting away we have these great casting
sessions and we were it be Harvey Keitel so the people are reading in the room be
Harvey me and Quentin and the actor and and I’m American afraid Harvey be
sitting there reading and it was just make some people really nervous
sometimes Harvey didn’t have his shoes on more years later go I remember coming
into the room and it was Harvey Keitel you have his shoes on and we and we
every act would be there 15 20 minutes we read scenes over and over and over
again and so we had a pretty good cat made a great cast and Harvey said you
know you’re almost done and you’ve seen all these wonderful actors but they’re
wonderful actors in New York too and and just see them and I said Harvey vote now
Quinn and I are broke we don’t have any money to go to New York and we don’t
have any money from the budget and he said okay I’ll pay for it I’ll take you
guys to New York so um so we left we took the so we cast all day on Friday
we took the red-eye Friday night now I never we get that three or four o’clock
in the morning when Quentin Irene coach in Harvey’s in first class and we meet
in the middle he says guys you know someday you’re gonna be in first class
but now it’s on my die so you’re in coach I said trust me someday you gonna
be in first class too and we laughed and we get off the plane we go straight to
his buddy Todd Fowler had given us his space in New York to cast out of Harvey
put us up in the Mayfair Hotel with his own money and there we are in
the casting room on Reservoir Dogs and there’s a room full of 20 guys after
winning get in and for a while there I’m playing the cop who’s tied up in the
chair and guys would we’d have to say sorry no knives no guns okay people pull
out a gun and they pull out their knives and Quinn and half literally sometimes
Quinn has a oh stop timeout stop the audition no knives no guns and they’d be
choking me the chair I guess flown over the room was sweaty and in came Steve
Buscemi and there was something about Steve Buscemi was like okay this guy has
got to be in the movie and Quentin made a mr. pink
and so if Harvey did not bring us to New York City we hadn’t ever cast sebastian
we had seen the movie that he was in this wonderful little movie had done and
we liked them but we wouldn’t have cast him unless Harvey Bros to New York so
Harvey brought us to the Russian Tea Room and we’re having a coffee and of
course being from New York I’d never been to the Russians here we could never
afford to be in that place and and Harvey’s and Harvey were talking and I
said Harvey Harvey you know you’ve done so much on this movie we want to make
you a co-producer I says boys what’s taking so long I’ve been waiting here
strumming it’s about time we all laughed and that’s how Harvey kinda became a
producer on the movie and he became like a big brother to Quentin eyes because
the making a Reservoir Dogs from time to time he would come to me and say
Lawrence you know the scene that Quentin is doing is really important and he
doesn’t have enough time and I know you’re limited you know very certain
money yes person mad time yeah but you have to make but you just want to make
sure that the scenes really important and he’s getting what he needs and so
just want to think about it and he’s just so thoughtful and but he made me
think because it was my first time making a movie like this so I go to
Quentin I say Quinn what do you think you know do you do you have the time you
need to finish this you know if you need a few more hours we’ll go over time you
know find the money someplace and that’s kind of the beginning of how
when I started working together in terms of making sure couldn’t got everything
he needed because these scenes were so damn important you know there because
it’s all about the acting and the way he shot it so Harvey became like our
Godfather he became our big brother in a sense at the time
Bob Kurtzman who was one of the founding members of K and B one in a vampire
movie so Scotty had recommended Quentin so Quentin sent over Natural Born
Killers and true romance as his spec scripts he’s like how this guy he’s
doing a lot of he’s doing a lot of script polishing now but here’s two
scripts that he had written so Bob read the scripts him and Quentin hit it off
and so Bob made a deal will do all the effects for Reservoir Dogs for free in
exchange for you writing this movie for me from dusk till dawn
I think Quentin took that money I think he actually moved out of his house in
Glendale and that that was definitely a life-changing event for all of us
involved because of that and I think that he was Quentin was doing a lot of
script doctoring but I think that was really that was really sort of like the
first time he had gotten a check and it was a minuscule amount of money but it
was also like oh well now I got an effects house I’m bored to do Reservoir
Dogs so I think that those that that all those things sort of happened to all at
the same time we were just getting into pre-production and we were casting and
so forth and everything was kind of in and on the road the going and we’re
maybe eight weeks away or ten weeks away from shooting and Quentin got into the
lab and he said look he said I really want to go to Sundance and I think it’d
be really great for me and I think it’s great idea too
I’ll hold the fort down here I’ll keep the pre-production going and you go away
and do your thing and come back which is what he did what was interesting is that
he was you know our lab you know our June director’s lab is the month you
know as a month long it’s the director’s lab and it’s
screenwriters lab at the end of the lab and he said I’m in pre-production or pre
pre-production I can only be there for I think it was two weeks and and I said
fine we’ll make it work for you for you know for two weeks I don’t think when he
ever blossomed into a director I think he was sort of born that way because he
just did what he wanted to do and it just innately and instinctively he just
does it and something that he did which was really smart and and now many
directors have kept on it is he just decided one you know he had he was gonna
do several scenes and he decided that one of the scenes he wanted to do is
this and it wasn’t in the script and he wanted to do it to just kind of explore
character but he needed to know that he could problem-solve on his feet as a
director and that was an important thing for him so I remember saying great
whatever you know you’ve got your actors here do whatever you know do it let’s do
it and and I love you know for for me it’s you know it’s so much fun when
directors are just want to keep pushing the boundaries not only of their work
but also what they can you know what they can achieve you know as a director
and I thought if you’re gonna go out and make a movie the best you know that what
a great idea yes figure you know figure it out so he
wrote a scene that night he brought it to the next day and you know they were
her student they shot at that day and he edited the next day and it’s the scene
that’s not in the film I love this scene it doesn’t belong in the film but it was
a really incredible scene and it was a scene about character and I was a scene
about Joe the you know who’s you know kind of running you know running the
heist and and he’s talking about a book that his you know that that he’s just a
ride called the bell jar by Sylvia Plath now that is like about as as far from a
book that and he’s telling Steve Buscemi you should read it and it was that scene
it was it was so simply shot and put together but it was so revealing of
character in a really interesting way and actually one of the best things ever
done at the lab I think in terms of clarity and heat you know and I think
that that was a scene that you know for for him that this sort of offered him
that you know that one opportunity to test his skills out but also really
giving him the confidence that he could you know he would be fine he could you
know he could take on anything that came his way that he would you know he would
ultimately figure it out because he knew these characters so incredibly well so
that kind of experimenting that kind of collaboration with this actors you know
just you know deciding to shoot it in a you know in a more conventional way I
thought was just it was genius actually you know for his lab experience he came
back he had this amazing experience they were all these great different directors
and people give him their advice and he shot a couple scenes and then we went
into pre-production to make the movie I had gotten a call from Lawrence bender
the producer of the film and he said we’re looking for an editor we don’t
have much money so we’re looking for somebody who’s you know kind of emerging
you know as an editor and every once in a while the light bulb goes off and
there is a you know there’s that sense of you can connect to kindred spirits
together and to you know sort of creative you know spirits together and I
just thought there was something it was just pure you know intuitive you know
instinctively you know thought I mean I you know who knew that he would hire her
but I said you have to meet you know Sally and if Sally had also just moved
out to out to LA from New York at that time or recently moved out so she was
new and she and I know that she wanted to work you know work in film and I also
knew that she had a you know she had a great love of Marty Scorsese films and
you know and also that relationship between Marty and Thomas Schumacher was
something that she you know really valued and and she also had you know her
kind of far-reaching an eclectic taste and I thought she would really respond
to the material in a big way I mean Sally had you know came from
documentaries and then she was just starting to do
dramas so she she had she was reading she was in that zone where she was
reading the low-budget art films and she had the same reaction she she actually
said you got to read this right now it was you know one of those you know kind
of great meeting she didn’t you know she didn’t know what was gonna happen oh you
know in terms of whether he was gonna hire her or not but they really spoke
the same language she desperately wanted to do it so much so that she kept making
sure that everyone knew where she was at all times and she kept calling her agent
just find out if anything had happened we were now it’s now about a week later
and were on a family vacation in the middle of absolutely no place I mean
surrounded by mountains were on a tiny little road in the middle of the
Canadian wilderness and she demands that we stop and find a telephone we find
this one phone there’s literally nothing else around it for 20 miles it’s sitting
on a road in the middle of the mountains and she gets out and makes a phone call
and gets the job and I’m in the car and I see her dancing around around the
phone like oh so that’s that’s where she found out that she she got the job she
she really for some reason it was just like magnets you know she just
it was the script but it was it was but it was Quentin really that she wanted
she wanted to work with him we started working on the script kind of talking
about it I mean he’d come over to my apartment and pace around which was
about the size of a shoebox and pace about and in fact was gonna move into
the apartment across the hall from me which would have been daddy get even
less sleep and he but he would just disappear discuss it you know back and
forth back and forth and at one point I think he was kind of he was thinking
about playing one of the larger characters and suggested to him it’s
probably not a good idea because there’s a lot to do in five
weeks and you could tell he had the energy to to take everything on but kind
of we would we were we needed a director you know someone there all the time
it’s very because it was actually quite a complicated film but we all knew it
was that he had talent just in there from the script and then from the
conversations with him in a way where he was and and then when we were filming it
discussed that with Harvey one day you know saying what do you think I think
it’s a really good and it was I’ll never forget because we were I had all the
boxes of the delivery items for Reservoir Dogs
in my apartment I was living in a two-bedroom apartment with my roommate
Chris Brancato who was a writer now and and on the way to Sundance I drove to
Sundance and on the way to Sundance I stopped to drop off all the boxes and
the end the film to torture glass Dean who was our executive and live
entertainment so I Drive into the valley and I have a little tiny red Toyota that
I’ve had for like 15 years and I Drive up and I have all these boxes of all the
contracts and all this stuff tons and tons of stuff and and the reels and I
drop it off and I’m in Richard glass dean’s office and he looks at me with
big swaths of congratulations how does it feel to be unemployed oh my god it
never even occurred to me that I’ve been working this whole year and now
officially that basically meant officially the movie was done it was
handed over and I had no job left in the sense and we laughed and I jumped in my
car and there’s like a 10 or 12 hour drive from basically from LA to Sundance
and it was really so really kind of exciting I didn’t know what to expect
they never been to Sundance and it was really exciting to be there
there is this Saturday morning on the first first weekend of Sundance is it’s
like a filmmakers breakfast and it’s actually out at Sundance everyone drives
out as only the filmmakers and and Robert Redford’s there and all the
difference on there’s people there and you’re getting to meet all the other
filmmakers so it’s I never and Quinton of course we all went out
there and it was just it was just a great just nothing I’d ever experienced
before I remember all of us getting in a car cuz we didn’t have a whole lot of
money and driving up to Sundance I think there was the first time that we
realized that it was going to be a hit the first time Sally realized it’s
something she had cut was gonna be a hit I mean she’d she’d been involved in the
movies going out but not this kind of reaction the first public screening of
Reservoir Dogs was at the multiplex in Park City and the film was scoped and
they didn’t have the right they didn’t have the right mat some of the movie was
on the outside of the on the walls not where were supposed to be came around
and it looks slightly out of focus and as I said the Quitman is a little out of
focus and the things that don’t worry don’t worry it’s okay he’s making me
feel better and at the end of the movie right during
the Mexican standoff the power went out and the lights went out everything went
out and it was complete blackness I couldn’t believe it and finally get all
the power back on that we kept going and now I was standing in the back some
people going out and they were like hey congratulations Lawrence great movie and
it was really like wow it’s really it was one of those amazing just amazing a
moments the thing I remember about for showing it’s on
was that there were people that were very angry about that there was this
much violence in the movie and in the QA people were a little bit up in arms
about how could Sunday show movie that so-called glorified violence and I
remember Quentin’s Tammy but no he looked like you saw the picture that was
in the little brochure asking you to come here it’s these guys with these
guns you read the description what did you expect you we’re gonna see you can
and if you don’t like it you should just leave like they’ll that’s I made what I
wanted to make and Sundance asked if we’d come and we came what what do you
want from me that was screening number one screening
number two in Salt Lake City there was a film burn and the print actually caught
on fire and the negative and and the print burned and then the third one
everything was okay the reaction was explosive I remember there was there
were people who loved it people hated it there was all kinds of you know the
reactions in the artists boat but the one thing that everybody knew right
there that night was that here was a new voice here was somebody who was really
kind of blowing the doors off of off of cinema at the time and that he was gonna
be a real force you could tell that early on
I’ve always felt with Quentin which I loved about his work is is that he’s
like an orchestra conductor in a way I mean he is you know you are leaning
forward and you know in certain moments you’re laughing at other moments you’re
like you know it’s brutal and other moments but he’s so in control of you
know of the story that he’s telling and the tools that he’s using to tell to
tell that story so the you know the audience was with with it at every
moment it was truly one of the most exciting premieres that we’ve had it
ever you know it it’s done dance I was in shock watch the movie I just from the
first second it started I was just mesmerised and wrote him a letter which
I wish I still have the the old computer that I were that I initially wrote stuff
on I’ll bet you’d still on there but I wrote him this big long letter and
it said now I remember why I came to Hollywood I mean it was so inspirational
to me to see what what someone with vision and passion and enthusiasm and
love could do he was just the talk of Sundance and it’s sort of shocking that
he didn’t win Sundance yes it did not win but it got a great launch it was
probably the film that was most remembered at the festival that you know
that year and it was you know it was the launch of a you know of a great and
enduring career we didn’t sell the film for three months after Sundance so for
three months nobody bought the movie and it was only about let’s see Sundance’s
in January that’s right because then we went to can with the movie with
Reservoir Dogs and it was just like a month before it can so in April that
Miramax bought the film the theatrical and television rights and live
entertainment who financed the movie where I worked retained the home video
so the dream was to get into Sundance to win it to have Harvey Weinstein the you
know Miramax liked the movie and release it and then and then ultimately and to
get it to can Harvey’s Harvey Harvey Weinstein is larger than life in every
way he is the only version of the great film moguls that we have left working
today he loves movies he he lives for movies he’s seen movies the way Quentin
seen movies so how would that not be an instant and perfect and enduring
marriage never forgetting arriving can we take the bus in from the airport and
I’m carrying my big suitcase and it’s hot and someone said to me who’s Jerry
Hofstetter yelled out as a bender yeah like who is it done don’t you know
you’re in can you not supposed to carry your own suitcase anymore before walking
down to our hotel and that was just one of those you know be McCann for the
first and I was still broke quitting was broke and you’re in this very fancy
place with all these big boats and beautiful hotels and movie stars and you
know we’re going for and we’re gonna like I just left Hollywood were these
riots it was you know a very horribly exciting time so now this the excitement
of can and I’ll never get you know with Harvey Keitel and Quentin and Tim Roth
and you know walking up the red carpet for the midnight screening of Reservoir
Dogs was one of these you know just never had a tuxedo before yeah well we
kind of went everywhere with it in shifts we did all the festivals we would
go I mean I would see everyone in Spain or maybe so and so could make it to
Spain I’d see you in France and and so on so we were a week and then can we we
knew we just knew it was gay it was it was a pop if we’d had more distribution
power it would have been even more successful at that time I think but that
that was the sort of the plight of the indie movie was that you couldn’t break
into these multiplexes you know you know I am n53 was playing you know filling up
every screen so it was it was even at that time it was tricky but it was he it
was a better time for independent film and by far than it is now he hit every
festival he saw the world he watched hundreds of movies all over
the world and became you know a citizen of world cinema and a citizen of the
world I remember a couple of very specific times of thing because well he
went to Sundance Clinton had barely been out of California so we went to Sundance
we showed the movie he’s now a director but you know the movie hadn’t been sold
yet it hadn’t come out you had really seen the movie so he’s just this
guy and then in can after we showed the movie it was in a midnight screening out
of competition in the Palais in the days the couple of days right after that when
we would be walking in can along the quests at the main street people started
to sort of recognize him because he also has a small part in the movie and the
movie just started to build this buzz and people started we would walk down
the street and people would go Quentin Tarantino Cole people started asking for
his autograph and I was like huh you know this is really interesting and
then the right after it showed our international sales company is a company
was a company called Carroll CO and Carroll kill made these huge movies
Basic Instinct and the doors and a very very large scale Total Recall Terminator
2 and they had all of their directors in Ken promoting their news slate of movies
and Jim Cameron Oliver Stone Paul Verhoeven they saw Reservoir and they
wanted to meet Quentin and so suddenly we were invited to the big boat and all
these directors wanted to talk to him and this buzz sort of started the film
is perfectly modulated and he was doing so much with cinema that I hadn’t seen
before I think you know the greatest thing is
you know it’s a heist film where you don’t see the heist I mean how great is
that this is one of the first non-native
films that I think works it’s such a gorgeous operatic level that all those
choices that are were made in the both in the screenplay in the writing and in
the directing but also in the cutting just just sort of delivers I believe a
vision that was there really reinvented genre in an exciting way I remember I
was in film school and I went to see this movie at 3rd Avenue and 11th Street
and I was on a date and it was one of those classic experiences where everyone
in the theater was screaming I couldn’t believe what I was saying I was so so
happy it was just the most violent movie that I’d seen in years and I’d literally
had tears of joy in my eyes while watching it I was like finally someone
who understands what I want to see in a movie I remember when I first saw a
Reservoir Dogs there at Telluride it’s it’s a it’s a pretty you know reserved
audience but they loved those pictures they really enjoyed it and and I was
watching really just here to see but Quentin because I’d heard about him and
it was great seeing him in the movie because I already could put a face to
the name one oh there’s the Quintin I’m gonna meet him next month and I was just
so excited that there was another young filmmaker making movies because when I
growing up in high school in then when I got to college that I didn’t know
anybody else making movies them you know I came from from San Antonio Texas and
moved to Austin and I just didn’t know anybody who made films so it was a dream
of mine to meet somebody else I mean there was no internet and things back
then you couldn’t just find friends around the country that also do what you
do so I knew we would we would hit it off because we obviously loved the same
types of things and I was just amazed by what he did I mean I was amazed by the
movie and I couldn’t wait to meet him just his command of the cinema already
in his first film and his and of course this use of dialogue and his characters
and I could tell he was a really strong director just by the way he handled the
actors that he had I mean there was some really tough personalities very singular
personalities and for him to be able to wrangle them together get their respect
him get those performances out of them some
of their you know career best performances definitely meant this guy
was was it was clear that he was he was the man right from that movie you could
just tell he was gonna pave a big big way for himself 20 years ago
Robert and I had just started you know mariachi was starting to make the
festival circuit the first festivals telle ride which was early September the
next festival was Toronto and you know I’ve been hearing about this Quentin
Tarantino guy and Reservoir Dogs and all of this stuff and you know I always
would read a lot about movies because I love movies and I hadn’t gotten to see
the his movie but I really wanted to see it and when I found out that he was
going to be in Toronto I got really excited and I kind of had a feeling
because Robert really didn’t know a lot of people like himself well the first
films were similar both had guys in black both were violent and we ended up
having to do panel discussions together in Toronto one of the panels was
violence in movies in the 90s and it was only 1992 I thought that was funny where
they’re defending our artistic vision we just happened to have the two bloodiest
movies in the festival and we hit it off right away he said I heard about you
through agent Robert Newman and I’d heard about him and I remember him
coming up to my hotel room after he saw a mariachi actually videotaped his
reaction to a mariachis because I was I would tape the audience reactions that
the festival’s figuring it’s probably them one and only movie over guess it
makes lights taped everything so I always had the tape running so I have
tape of a whole laugh track of quit and laughing all through el Mariachi and
after the screening we went up to my room and he said you’re in are you gonna
really like my next movie I’m working on a movie I’m writing a script right now
called pulp fiction and three stories and will be told to kind of like
Reservoir Dogs you know nonlinear and out of order but you said you’re really
gonna like that when I saw Quinton and Robert come into
the room where he came into our hotel room it was like watching magic you know
two brothers that I don’t know each other existed you know and to start at
that Ground Zero Quinton had already been going since Sundance
through the festival so this was kind of his end of his run of the festival and
this was Robert’s beginning of Ron and to be able to find someone like that a
friend that has been a lifelong friend to both of us was really special and I
never forgot that moment I didn’t remember what everybody was wearing you
know which is interesting such a visual it was beautiful the bond I had with Quentin was just
fantastic because it was a peer who is doing spectacular things and it pushes
you to achieve more than you would normally
you know usually you’re putting the bar on yourself if other people around you
aren’t pushing you and so I would say if you went if any get better at something
change your peer group go get around people who are just much better than you
and you will and you will rise up and and he was amazing what he could pull
off I mean I remember he came to me I was telling me about a film that he did
he said I just finished this film and I don’t know it still feels like kind of
Malik Quinton would make it didn’t doesn’t feel like a real movie no it’s
trying to be a good friend go look at the bright side of it he’s obviously
disappointed I said well you know it’s good it’s good that it’s not like every
other movie it’s good that it’s different it’s better that way you don’t
want it to be like everyone else is moving here’s something I don’t know
it’s just didn’t come out like I expected and turned out to be pulp
fiction he didn’t thought no as the second movie
Quint was very smart he was a very studious as a filmmaker man he
understood that the second movie was almost more important than the first
movie as a director and he wanted to make sure that his second was really
successful is something called sophomore jinx and you can make a good first movie
but make a bad second movie you go into director jail if you make a good second
movie then you have you can mess up on one or two movies but you still have a
career because twice in a row you can’t have it’s not a coincidence he is a true
director in the Roger Corman way too because he’s always thinking about how
to make his movie more economically and and he’s got a strategy he there’s
nothing that’s half hazard and anything Quentin does there’s divine intervention
at times and magic that happens and he always leaves room for that but he’s got
a plan on everything so Quinton wrote Pulp Fiction and I’ll never forget him
turning in and said you know pull fiction final draft 165 pages long and
and every letter and that thing was just amazing every word every page was just
just the killer and he had lists of everybody he wanted
to be in it pulp fiction was an interesting story
because in this case Quentin was coming from a place where he needed some money
he didn’t make anything really on Reservoir Dogs and he doesn’t live large
at all but there’s a different living large and living period and he was at
that level where he really needed some money so we got together for a meeting
and said so Quentin tell me like just blue sky the whole thing blank piece of
paper here tell me everything you want to have in the movie and your deal and
let’s see what we can do and so he kind of ran down you know a number of things
that were business levels that filmmakers who had been around for a
long time a lot of hits had in their deals and I don’t mean this to be
necessary the financial side at home but but didn’t include that but also the
control and the ability to you know have the final cut designate the cast things
like this and everybody had seen Reservoir Dogs and thought it was
brilliant too but people were terrified of the violence of the tone of how fresh
and new it was its uniqueness him so the first move was to make this deal with
Tristar because we felt that they would by putting it through Danny DeVito’s
company we could acquire a lot of the artistic controls that he was looking
for we’d also have a very good financial deal on the back end that we would share
but we also felt that at the end of a Tristar would not make the movie which
was maybe the most attractive thing about the deal prospect in all because
we could get the move we could get him paid to write the script but we could
get the script back if they didn’t greenlight it immediately when he turned
it in we went into Mike Medavoy conference room Quentin really admired
Mike metamour Mike Medavoy because of the Orion films and he sat there and
lectured us as to the meetings with Senators he’d had about violence in
cinema he had a giant poster of cliffhanger which was a very violent
action movie behind him and how it had made a hundred million dollars in a
certain amount of time behind him so he didn’t really see the
irony and proceeded to tell us that because our film was too violent he was
going to pass on it and every major studio followed suit and passed on pulp
fiction so it was amongst the first scripts that I gave to Harvey as I’d
like to make this movie and he said what is this thing and I said it’s Quentin
script it’s called Pulp Fiction and he looked at it and it was a hundred and
sixty pages so it kind of felt like a telephone book not like a screenplay and
he said well you know under this 160 pages I mean what is this thing I mean
come on so I explained to him you need to read it right away because we have a
little bit of a jump on it and he said you know I’m getting on a plane right
now so I hate telling any to read it on the plane and I said yes you need to
read it on the plane and you need to read it today and he said you want to
make this movie and I said yes I really want to make this movie said you love it
and I said I love it two hours later my phone rings and it’s
Harvey from the airplane and he says oh my god like God that first scene it’s
fucking brilliant oh my god does it stay this good I go yesterday it’s not gonna
go okay stay in the office since it okay hang up the phone an hour later he calls
up and he goes are you crazy and I don’t what he goes I mean I mean he killed the
main character in the middle of the script what’s wrong with you guys and I
said Harvey just keep reading I think this but this is crazy can’t
kill the main character in the middle of the movie
I said Harvey just keep reading it he goes oh my god he comes back doesn’t he
and I said Harvey just keep reading and he goes start negotiating so I hang up
the phone then he calls back like an hour later he goes I love it are you
closed yet and I said Harvey no I just started and I’m trying to buy it he said
well hurry up I love this thing Harvey would obviously it was all over and
wanting it live was to because they’d just done Reservoir Dogs and a French
company that no longer exists CB DeMille was also very hot for all three of them
wanted to do it we talked to everybody but we really knew we wanted to make
this deal with Harvey and Miramax we got all the other points done and we got
down to that last point which was that Quentin could designate the cast and he
was saying right up front it’s gonna be John Travolta playing delete and you
know it was there’s about 12:30 midnight here in LA must have been 3 or 3:30 or
in New York where Harvey and Bob were and it was really Harvey saying look
we’ve agreed to everything else we hear you but on this point we really have to
let’s just leave it for later we’ll see maybe it’ll wind up be fine but let’s
just close the deal now and we’ll deal that later and we said no you have to if
you want the movie you want to close the deal you have to agree to that you have
to create a bit right now thank you have to greet it within the
next 15 seconds and when I started counting down and I’ll have to give it
to Bob at about 8:00 Bob jumped in said Harvey let’s just say yes we’re gonna
make this movie we’ll figure it out one way or the other and they did they
agreed and John Travolta was the lead in the movie and the rest is history there
were so many people that call and of course it was tempting because at
that time John’s career wasn’t what it became after pulp fiction or what it was
in his early days the script had gotten out and Bruce Willis and Daniel
day-lewis had both read it and on the run said I want to play that role kwitny
wasn’t going to cast anyone other than John Travolta so no matter who read it
no matter who said that they wanted to play it no matter what came up no matter
who said they wanted to send it someone no matter what actor called up and said
I read it and I want to be that guy Quentin’s answer was always no no I cast
John so sorry whether I do well or not do well I’ve
already this is my thinking at the time is that ever I had a career that’s of
substance and and I will deal with it and always have something to do he may
not so as much as he’s dropping the gauntlet for you you better drop the
gauntlet for him too you better get your act together and put your best
performance on because whatever it’s going to take to pull this philosophical
heroin-addicted you know hit man and and deliver it to a
level that is worthy you better get your ass in gear and do it so I I did I I
gave it everything I had but of course the characters so relaxed that you know
I couldn’t give it you can’t look like you’re giving it that energy matter of
fact you better look like you’re giving it the other energy which is no energy
in order to come off effectively foot massage
that’s it mm-hmm then what Marsellus do it sent a couple of cats over to his
place they took him out on his patio threw his ass over the balcony nigga
fell false stories and a little garden down at the bottom clothed in glass like
a greenhouse nigga failed through that since then he kind of developed a speech
impediment that’s a damn shame yeah you know it was logical of Harvey
to question the choice of John’s welfare it wasn’t crazy but ultimately he went
with it and I remember when we showed him the movie a rough cut we’ll we were
done after 15 minutes he said boy I’m so glad I cast John Travolta this part what
a great idea I had laughs laughs laughs because we all knew that it was not the
easiest choice but one that once you saw it you easily could see what Quentin saw
and why was the perfect choice Bruce wanted to play the main part and I
remember we said well Quentin asking who wants to play butch and we were sitting
there and Quentin said okay and he called him up and he said Bruce will you
play butch and Bruce said well I’ll read it again tonight and I’ll call you
tomorrow and Quentin said great I’m fine the next day we’re sitting there in the
morning phone rings and it’s Bruce and Bruce as I read it
again I mean it was that easy he was shocking to me cuz that doesn’t
happen on my other movies amuse me Reservoir Dogs is a big hit on video it
you know this movie 8 million bucks with this kind of cast there was no way we
can lose with a million bucks so we I did a budget and the budget was like I
don’t remember zactly buts it was about seven million dollars so I said okay
we’re up to seven so we eight millions our topper so we have a million dollars
or was some number like that give all the rest of the money away to the actors
and that way you know we’ll just that’ll be our top point and we divided that
number up equally per week so I said okay weathers is Uma and Sam Jackson in
charge of votes and Bruce Willis it’s Harvey Keitel and Ross and so see all
these guys gals are working for next amount of weeks it’s added a total
amount of women and man weeks together and divided into whatever the number was
a million we came up to 20,000 a week so whether you’re Chris Walken working for
one week or you’re John Travolta working for seven weeks you would be paid twenty
thousand a week everybody of those movies worked for less money because we
were making them for in total less money so it wasn’t just that the actors were
taking a haircut is that in order to keep the price of the movie Anna
manageable level the castes are vast and you can’t start paying people in some
uneven fashion the thing is making movies are always hard thinking Pulp
Fiction was was not an easy movie by any means at one point I had to get to the
lattice it somehow fit Harvey Keitel into the schedule I had to go to every
single other actor and that’s the permission to change the schedule a
certain way everyone did because you know everyone everyone Harvey Keitel’s
like gods everybody but it was very complicated I wasn’t making perfection
was not easy but it was just the joy it was just this amazing kind of sense that
you were doing something special now we don’t know we were changing film history
but we really felt like we were doing something very special and every time
you were shooting you felt like you’re shooting a certain movie because you’re
shooting at one point you’re shooting John Travolta and Sam Jackson and that
whole story was over then another story and all of a sudden you’re you’re
shooting Harvey Keitel and shooting Bruce Willis and then you shooting uma
and so what what happens one group of actors would be on the set and then
their time on the set were over and they’d leave and would be really sad
because they’re gone they’re not coming back but then all of a sudden you know
uma Thurman would show up or Christopher Walken show they hadn’t been there yet
and so there’s a new excitement of a new almost like a new cast it was like
making a new movie you know I showed up I had my script the script was kind of
annotated it was color-coded yeah cuz I’d do all these different things to my
script so I hit my lines in one color I had my actions in another color scene
numbers in another color I had stuff in the margins already he was like we
started talking about it and Quinton told him don’t mess with this guy so all
of a sudden John realized okay we have to get have to get in this but you know
he made us do stuff like go to dinner and you know hang out just go somewhere
talk it just go somewhere hang out go so much smoke cigarette and we would do
that so he he kind of forced us to have this relationship that looked like we’d
known each other for a very long time because that was the first time we met
and we just kind of instantly fell in love and just kind of started hanging
out together and being very close and you know finishing each other’s
sentences stuff so it was very cool like that but
John’s John’s just I mean he’s the loveliest guy in the world
it’s amazing how big his heart is and how hard he works and is willing to work
on stuff so we got to those characterizations pretty quick Jules
look what happened this morning man I agree it was peculiar but water into
wine I have all shapes and sizes Vincent fucking talk to me that way man if my
answers frighten you Vincent then you should cease asking scary questions I’m
gonna take a shit first thing I did was I interviewed a bunch of heroin addicts
you know I’d already played a hit man and Robert Altman’s the dumb waiter so I
kind of had that viewpoint down I kind of knew the Glee of irresponsibility
that people who kill people have that you know it’s thou shalt not murder is
what they’re disobeying killing is another moral code you have to kill to
eat you have to kill then war it’s a different moral code but murder is
intentional and unacceptable but in a criminals mind they have justified it so
I got that part down like I could I could see how I could play an
irresponsible guide towards killing but I didn’t know what the drug world was at
that level so in interviewing these heroin addicts
I took copious notes and finally before I let go of the white collar guy that
was a heroin addict I said okay you’re more the tone I want to play because
your description of heroin is better than the street guys description even
though I got some cool things from him I need to know what I could do because I
don’t want to take heroin to be the closest thing to the feeling he said
there’s nothing he said hmm I need something you got to come up with
something so you thought about it came back he’s the okay if you get really
plastered on tequila and you lie in a warm
pool of water and the high of heroine is here and the low of heroine is here
you’ll come up and skim the bottom of the feeling of heroine I said cool I
could do that that was acceptable to me so I did that and I I got that whole
euphoric buzz that’s where the half eyes closed and then in the the feeling the
warmth through the body and he described heroine and waves get in and ups and
downs and I designed that the the peak of it in the lo of it the peak of the
heroine was in the car driving to see Mia and the and then the lo of it was of
course at the end of the evening women you know I’m putting the needle in her
heart and I’m sobering up and that’s kind of the lo of it I got to
orchestrate because whether Quintin was conscious of it or not he orchestrated a
beautiful rise and fall of the evening of heroine anyway I gathered enough
information that I could really pull together a performance that I felt would
be something that he would like and that I went beyond his expectations thrilled
me to know and because he he deserved that my memories of the film are really
of the process itself more than anything else and what a joy it was and how so
how delightful Quentin and the cast was we all just clicked Ken in 1994 was uma
Bruce Sam John Harvey Keitel Tim Roth everyone hit the cause that at the same
time it was like it was crazy you could feel the energy in the air that all
these guys and gals just came to can at the same time and we all stayed at the
Carlton I think Bruce and John they stayed at the hotel ducat where all the
big movie stars stay and Quinn and I were kind of stayed more in the thick of
it at the Carlton and you know for me this is the beginning my career I’d
never been taken care of like this before you know you got a car and driver
and they take care of your you know your dry-cleaning and your
meals are paid for and it was you know is like a whole new world I had to go
and buy a jacket because I didn’t even have a tuxedo or anything like put to
dress up oh okay let me go buy something so I went around a corner bought a
jacket and it was the most amazing thing and it’s just kind of overwhelming no
the first time you do it you go up those steps and then you stop and turn around
people still screaming and shouting even though nobody really knew who I was I
was like what black people who the black guy with the stars what was wonderful
was ever since I’d known Quentin from 1990 I guess I think I met Quentin 90 we
made Reservoir Dogs 91 came out 92 so now here we are in 94 and it’s about
four years I’ve known Quentin and Quentin was such an extraordinary film
buff film historian film understander and lover a film and talked about it
with enormous passion it fends from the day I met him but all of a sudden here
he’s talking about it as a filmmaker at the Cannes Film Festival
saying a lot of the same stuff but now with an international stage with a big
movie behind him and it was really wonderful was really um it was almost
that he got to flourish and got to spread his wings and be be in the middle
of really where he deserved to be with his peers and everybody was just
reacting in such a positive way and so I’ll never forget because it’s the first
time we’ve ever done the Croisette and the in the fill and the can cars and see
have a you have a yeah I don’t felt like 20 cars and everybody was in
their own car and you drive down the cause the cause that and there’s people
like you know five ten thick screaming and there’s like the car could barely
fit between them this is long rise like a 20 minute ride people are rocking
John’s car like screaming and I never seen that
many photographers on a set of stairs it’s like hundreds of photographers
since blinding and he get out and you got this big red carpet and it’s and all
John and Bruce and Sam Newman every Quinta everyone’s there walking up the
red carpet together was just one of those um just incredible things that you
know it’s the first time experiences it’s pretty amazing to sit in a theater
full of people full of a majority of people that don’t speak English and
they’re reading the movie I mean I’m used to reading movies because I like
Korean and Japanese movies so but they were laughing in the right places they
were gasping in the right places everything was working in another
language and that’s when we kind of knew this like okay think we got something
here no it’s kind of cool and then the movers
over and the lights come up and what’s amazing the way Ken does it is there’s
this aisle as the filmmakers eye on where all the filmmakers are and and all
the and there’s a big big area in front of you and then the lights come down on
top of you and then they bring these cameras and they and the cameras project
you out onto the screens everywhere and the Quinten stands up and starts to wave
and and there’s a standing ovation it just goes on forever I never seen
anything like it I don’t know if there will be anything like that because it
was so new I mean you know brilliant movies are chosen every year and there
are usually worthy of it but this was supernatural when the movie was over it
was an amazing feeling cuz everybody stood up you know standing ovations
fifteen minute standing ovation was crazy and as you walk out at the top
you’re at the top of the red carpet now you look out and there were thousands of
people outside again screaming and we all stopped up top there and Quint has a
smile on his face and we got and we took off for a party we party all right
but then the award presentation was a couple days later as the awards going on
we’re not getting any awards and each award that goes by makes it
more and more intense because the only thing that was left was the Palm D’Or
and it was Kozlowski and us so the only two moves that could have won the last
remaining slot oh my god what can happen yeah it’s gonna be one of the other and
and they called out Pulp Fiction and it was like wow wow I was a WoW moment and
we all went up on stage and quit made his beautiful speech and it was just one
of those holy shit moments there was this whole alternative
movement and that was the big world in the culture the big word in the culture
in 94 95 was alternative everything’s alternative and yet that was the
mainstream you know it started with Nirvana and the music and really crossed
over into movies with Tarantino and what he did was he got people excited about
movies in a way that nobody had probably since Steven Spielberg the whole journey
that that we’re all going through at the time was it was a very unusual very
unique so there’s par for the course you know everything else that had happened
that of course he would go on and win the Palme d’Or with that movie it just
makes sense he could feel you could feel the wave that was happening there was
this new independent wave that hadn’t happened in 20 years that was happening
again it happened before with with Coppola and George Lucas and no one Easy
Rider came out and people didn’t know what youth wanted anymore because they
all loved Easy Rider that’s what pulp fiction was it was it
was like the Easy Rider of the nighties and it just threw everybody it made its
head spin so to be in that arena it was it was exhilarating I remember any idea
suddenly was a great idea it was a different time I mean to think and you
knew anything was possible and that was scary for some but it was freeing for a
lot of us because it meant there was no one wrong move I mean if my movie was in
Spanish with subtitles and his is pulp fiction and gets released by studio and
his goes on to win the Palme d’Or I mean anything was possible
so you just felt like you were in the middle of this this almost almost didn’t
feel real so um yeah we immediately just started doing as much as we could while
we could this might not last people might regain their senses soon we should
just take it full advantage of this situation and and write it as fast as
hard as we can Quinton had written the script somebody
had you know somebody paid him to write a script that’s how he bought his Geo
Metro as a matter of fact with that money and some producers
mayor temper and Johnny noon re came to Robert with this script before they went
to Quentin and they had kind of already knew that there are friends so at some
festival Robert was going with desperado they said hey Robert
this is Quentin one of Quentin scripts and if you directed he’ll rewrite it ok
so then they went to Quinton separately when he was doing the stuff of Pulp
Fiction same two guys mayor Deborah in the N&R said hey Quinton Robert has read
the script and really likes it and he’s willing to direct it if you will rewrite
it so they kind of pretended like each one already said yes which was kind of
genius you know pretty genius I would say and so Quinton and Robert wanting to
do something together anyway it became what does told on is today and Quinton
did rewrite it and the the first half of it was pretty much what the movie is
always was but after page 50 it was just like mayhem mayhem ensues
vampires you know it was kind of like oh it was the strangest feeling to go from
like this road movie to vampires so I knew it was gonna be at least fun to do
yeah it was my idea to cast him I said would you play I would love to play rich
fantastic as Ritchie so I’m getting to work together in so many different ways
on the same projects on different projects it was it’s just it’s so fun I
mean if you were if we were kids in high school we’d be working on each other’s
film projects so we finally the deal ended up being made the Weinsteins
at that time was Miramax they got a pretty sweet deal you know at that point
in their career they ended up getting you know first dollar grows they ended
up getting you know they were that they were they had their own understand
approval over their their marketing materials posters all that stuff they
got a hundred percent approval and that final cut which nobody had both of them
even though Quentin wasn’t directing that one that happened at that moment
you know I think that was the most exhilarating thing about Quinn’s success
was that as our success because it gave everybody
that at that time a chance to just ride that wave of uncertainty that what’s
happening in the industry so we went right away and signed up from dusk till
dawn while we’re doing another bizarre movie called four rooms we both went off
in our the directions doing doing whatever we wanted it’s so quaint now
what are you gonna do now well I’m gonna sit and write my next thing for the next
couple years two or three years you’re gonna sit out three years and he said
yeah I’m gonna sit down and I’m really write something I really want to do and
you can afford to sit out three years and he goes you can’t with the kind of
money we make and I thought wow you know he was still driving about around in
that Geo Metro and he lived that no he rented this little apartment and then he
had to rent the second one and I just you know that humility and that attitude
that you know what I’m gonna live build my means so I can write my own ticket
and I thought this guy is never gonna stop surprising me ever 14 years of a film that people are still
receiving and learning from it and I was a part of it
it’s beyond measure how I feel about it how much gratitude and what a wonderful
experience I had with it then to be reunited with Robert which I
don’t think I’ve seen you in a while no we saw each other at least once I
know you were doing the l word right mm but I haven’t seen you for a long for a
long time maybe almost 12 years whatever it is it’s been a while it’s been it
seems like that long ago yes it was like yesterday for me only because I want I
want to remember all of the wonderful moments that I experienced not only with
you but on the film and with Quentin but literally I wrote a journal I’ve got to
send you a page it’s juicy part yeah it really juicy a matter of fact
because of where it is it’s so hot there smoke you have to have a fire
extinguisher but it was such an extraordinary time and experience for me
that I’ll never forget go first sure well I had had bumped into Quentin
on the streets and Hollywood and there was this wild man with the t-shirt on
his shorts and he was out in the street he was Mackin to this woman you know and
and so my friend says hey that’s putting Tarantino and I’m going Fiction
Reservoir Dogs I said I’d like to thank him because he mentioned me and in
Reservoir Dogs so I go I’d love to meet him so he calls him over quintus Pam
Grier and I’m writing a movie you oh come on you know what drugs are you on
and I said well thank you I’m I love your work and you know when you since we
want Meisner I’ll find you I’ll find you you know how he talks and so six months
later this man had invested that much time in writing a film based on rum
punch by Elmore Leonard and he was talking about who was going to be in it
by then I’m hemorrhaging yeah I’m like your kid he stopped what happened is he
he sent me the script I don’t know if you know with 44 cents – on the envelope
and it was in my apartment in New York and I kept sending me these notices
saying you know you have an envelope from Los Angeles and it didn’t say from
whom but there’s 44 cents – okay I say it’s
got to be a mattress someone selling mattresses or flip-flops so I go okay
stop sending me these notices so I hate that the the coins back up the notice
sent avec they say deliver this manuscript in a manila envelope and it
says cutie in the corner and there’s all these little stamps all over it I’m
going okay I’ll open it and there it is Jackie Brown so I read the note please
read it and call me when you read it and I’m reading it oh my god it’s it’s
remarkable it’s extraordinary okay I’m gonna be the drugged out camp
girlfriend you know that’s the Ridgid role you know with Sam
Jackson a black man you know of course I come back so I’m it’s so good I call him
and he says Oh what do you think I thought you didn’t like it I’ve been
waiting for three weeks I’m good I’m so sorry
um I just got it and you you know you owe me forty four cents but you know
it’s okay so I’m thinking if this man couldn’t pay for postage it’s not
finance if we don’t have to wait another it’s gonna be really low bring your own
wardrobe yes and your own shoes yeah and and so um he says no no I I said so I’m
I I like the Bridget Fonda roni he says no you yes Jackie Brown is for you
you’re gonna play Jackie Brown and I went I am and I could hear it dance you
think of a silence on the other side then I maybe you’re not and the world
stopped because someone who is a director an artist a craftsman of this
magnitude would write something for me I I was speechless and humbled and I
said oh my god I’ve heard of how he works and who he is you know and yeah I
have my icons and and I just said oh my any sedan so so it’s gonna be and you
know Robert forcing away Robert Forester oh my god I’ve had a crush on him for
years it wears great suits and and Robert De Niro and Michael Keaton as a
Batman and then we’re gonna Sam Jackson I said Samuel I I literally said I don’t
believe it I really I don’t believe until 10 weeks later we began rehearsing
but Robert in the process was just magnificent and akin to a pulp fiction
when he gave me Jackie Brown he said Pam Grier is Jackie Brown and
there was no debate and there were lots of other actresses
that could have very very easily played that part before we made the movie there
were live actors but once you see the movie its Pam Grier
and you can’t imagine someone else playing it but she wouldn’t she wasn’t
the most logical choice given also where her career was at at the time you know
if you went through a casting director I made a list she would be on the list but
she might not be at the top of the list for Quentin there is no list there’s one
name that’s it same thing with Robert Forester my career was was dead I had no
agent no manager and a lawyer no nothing I was spending my mornings in a little
restaurant on Santa by on Santa Monica Boulevard and in walks Quentin Tarantino
and I yelled at him I had met him once doing an audition for Reservoir Dogs I
thought I was gonna get that job I was I hit it out of the park I thought and as
soon as I finished the the audition and walked out of the room Quentin came out
and said this isn’t gonna work out this part is gonna go to Lawrence Tierney
whom he had dedicated the script to I hadn’t bothered to read it or something
and I thought oh of course he’s gonna you know but he said don’t worry I won’t
forget you years go by and he does Paul fiction and now it’s several a year or
two later and he walks in this restaurant I see him I’m sitting with
another actor I yell at him he comes over we bla bla what are you doing he
said I am I am adapting rum punch he said why don’t you read it and of course
I did six months later I walk into the same restaurant and he’s there in my
usual seat and as I approach him he lifts up the script and says read this
see if you like it and we have a conversation and I go home and I read it
and I say but what part does what part could he want me for cuz nothing seemed
right it couldn’t be Mac’s cherry they won’t
hire me for something that big I’d had that experience the number of times that
you know I got close to a job and the director says look I can’t the
distributor’s won’t want to hire you right so I I had a second conversation
with him and which I said look I don’t think they’re gonna let you hire me for
this and he says and I will never forget it I hire anybody I want and that’s when
I the world stopped right I’m not kidding everything stopped and I said Oh Bob you
got another chance this is the chance that you’ve been playing for I kept
hoping that some young guy who liked me growing up would turn into a movie maker
and give me a good party and here it is and so there you have it it was it was a
gift the size of which cannot be exaggerated and and I couldn’t believe
that it was max Cherry until he told me so
our foresters I mean what uh what a sweet I mean my god sweet man but even
more than that amazingly subtle and giving and prepared and him because I
think one of the first things I did was uh you wash your hands in his office and
that was like the best scene the most fun he was perfect I didn’t hear you wash your hands
Sam Jackson this guy if I missed a line or if I stumble the line he could give
it to me he not only knew his words but he knew my words children you don’t you
don’t meet many actors who can who can help you out in the middle of a scene
you got to go off camera say yeah well anyone tell me that line begins or
something well it was important to me to ordell you know have that specific look
but um Quinton kept telling me I haven’t figured out what he looks like but
that’s not what he looks like so I had Robert and my hairdresser call
the wig maker and we had the wig mate anyway and then I had the little braid
made for my chin and she did all this stuff so one day when they were having a
production meeting I I just put all stuff on and something happened I wanted
some water or something and I just got out his chair and I ran
through the production meeting headed for the craft service table and I walked
over to the table and he was like oh my god okay and he said that’s what okay
you’re right to be a part of someone’s dream it was extraordinary and magical
in a sense and then the day when we have our first day of rehearsal and in walks
Samuel Jackson Robert DeNiro Michael Keaton Robert Forester and then Bridget
Fonda her legacy of her family and as we’re sitting at the table just molding
our characters with Quentin and were more listening to him and I was just
struck by his energy and his ability to with each one of us have distinct
direction and distinct ability to say okay this is Sam’s beats Pam’s beats
Michael’s beats Robert neros beats and or and be a maestro in front of us and
we’re all instruments in this fabulous orchestra and I love the fact that
Quentin let us take our time doing stuff I remember that moment in
the car when I’m looking through the books and can’t find my money and I just
wanna go no no no take your time take your time go through every possibility
of what could have gone wrong and then come to that conclusion and I was like
really gonna let me really that’s a lot of cinema time nothing to happen but
then I had to go back to this thing that somebody told me early on when I first
started doing movies they said every time the camera is on you I always make
sure there’s something on your mind no matter what you’re talking about
you know you can be talking about that thing but know what the next thought is
or were you trying to go with that thing so that people can see that so that was
an opportunity for me to sit there and kind of you know ruminate and run
through every scenario everything else before I came up with Jackie Brown and
it’s one of my sort of like favorite moments
aside from killing mommy it’s good when we first found out that DeNiro was
interested in the movie DeNiro called up and said he won at the Robert Forester
part and couldn’t said no I cast this guy Robert Forester and then I remember
when Clinton asked him if he wants to play the other guy ask
him if he wants to play the other part and when was everybody’s not gonna do it
you know he wants to play the lead I understand and well it’s just ask him
and he did and and and De Niro said yeah I’d love to
and he played the other part I haven’t the scene where De Niro shoots Bridget
Fonda and right before you shoot we said you know if you say another word I’m
gonna shoot you and she turns around and she starts to talking he shoots her
without any any fanfare hey don’t sue don’t say anything else okay
keep your mouth shut I mean it don’t say one fucking word okay and I was standing right kind of near
the camera and an arrow shoots and he just kept walking out of frame and he
walked right up to me and he goes Bobby’s unbelievable Bobby’s
unbelievable we’d like to orbit Pam Grier I mean
she’s I mean you know I was okay with it for a long time I was like yeah um yeah
I’m having a good time she’s a nice woman better than until
that day I was in her apartment and I had my hands around her throat and you
know it was just at that moment when I got my hands around her throat Wow you
are choking coffee this is just kind of like oh my god yeah all those
masturbatory fantasies of the sixties came flooding back to me it’s like I got
my hands on her and I’m up against her breasts to tickle my chest and was like
wow who ever thought I would be here you know it’s just stuff like that yeah it
kind of happens once a movie sometimes I remember when I was doing sphere it
happened I was doing this thing with just me and Dustin and it was kind of
like huh and then when I was doing Jackie Brown I was sitting there talking
to Bobby in that bar don’t worry what you say you have to say shit I know
Melanie and this gonna be fucking you two minutes after I’m out the dough my
only real good about throwing the fucking niggers way she know damn good
at it but she likes to fuck oh so she ain’t your girlfriend yeah what you
thought knowledge but you fucked anyway to her
oh not you they’re not your girlfriend part I have felt warm oh I hope you felt
appropriately guilty afterwards I did and because those are people when I was
you know a person in New York or even in Atlanta going to college watching them
on screen and never occurred to me that I would see them meet them let alone be
in a scene with them so it’s um it’s kind of hitting stuff when it happens
you know and for them to look at you and go okay good you trailing clap your
hands after you see Jackie Brown Reed rum punch and go how did he is this the
best one how did he do it it’s just extraordinary and there’s so many things
to think about the scenes the adaption that just Quentin just Quentin and he is
in many ways because he has so many textures so many aspects about him his
music he finds music and scores that tell a story without words when Jackie
comes out of the jail her timbre her speed her dragging of her
feet been stripped of everything not knowing where to go someone’s gonna kill
her she’s betrayed someone she has no job no future that was the last job she
had so she has she’s going home to nothing and just her posture and quit
and sets it up and you don’t have to do a second take you just let’s just do one
for safety but you never can do that first take better because it’s all so
authentic so OnPoint I think everyone wants to work with him because you will
learn to direct yourself and I learned more about myself and he’s so intuitive
he’s objective and then he’s he’s watching you and helping you evolve
because there’s so much that you can’t experience when you’re in the moment you
know like just kicking how you twitch your leg or kick your leg or something
that you do he’ll say or do you notice you’re doing then you go no well you are
I like that keep it you know so oh okay so he allows you when you work with him
you’re liberated this movie gave me a gigantic lift and and you know for that
I’m sure a Pam and I both were really thankful indebted and grateful to our
friend quit I’ll send you a postcard well yeah
that’s your wall partner it’s such a constantly film it’s kind of
cursed because it’s not pulp fiction – in a lot of people’s minds to me you
know this is best film because you know all the characters are very defined and
well stated the action plays out suddenly and completely for every
character in the film there’s a completion even though I’m still not
still not happy about the way I die for the thing or deal smarter than that but
we had to stop somewhere if I never work again I have been to the mountaintop
this is this is extraordinary experience with someone there’s nobody that can beat Quentin at
that game that game being the game of film history knowing about movies both
films from the past and current ones that other people never even crosses
their horizon yeah I always like to joke around with him and say you bought a
screening room that had a house attached and that’s kind of the way I look at it
like you know the screening room is this is this phenomenal place it’s his
Cathedral if you will it’s where he lives most of his life and he’s a film
buff like nobody has ever seen before combined with a phenomenal memory that’s
frankly scary one of the first dinners we had we were
sitting there together talking when we started talking about movies and then we
started talking about Hong Kong movies cuz I collect Asian films – I watched
Asian films all the time and we started talking about aging films and he’s like
I never had conversation about these films with anybody else because nobody
else watches them and then when we started to work even passed by my
trailer and he would always hear somebody kicking screaming getting
chopped or something in my trailer because I watch Hong Kong movies all day
long on my trailer I remember one year I made a movie and he made a theatre he
said all my friends made movies this year I made a theatre he made a home
theater that was like the end-all be-all home theaters and he had a ton of film
prints and we got to watch movies in style we just said this is the life
because I remember when we were doing dusk till dawn I’d go over to his
apartment over there on Crescent Heights and he had his little 16 millimeter
projector and he’d be threading a white lightning and we’d be watching you know
the bedsheet and ever then he turned to me and we still quoted cuz it’s so funny
excite remind him about this all the time he said I remember Quentin we went
there we’re watching watching white lightning and you turn to me you go
isn’t this the life don’t we have the best life sitting here watching our own
film friends it’s this little rinky-dink sixteen millimeter but that was the life
when we were in Berlin for Inglourious Basterds he would have one of his thirty
five-millimeter prints shipped to Berlin every week and we would have a screening
for the crew every week and it was great it was like on a Wednesday or Thursday
night seven o’clock everyone was done working for the day we
walked across the street we ate pizza we had beer
and he would screen one of his prints and he does an amazing introduction for
them and it’s somehow always not always but typically related to the movie
somehow someway in Berlin he screened one of til Schweiger first movies which
you know till was like you have a print of my 35 you have a 35-millimeter print
of my movie like couldn’t even believe it
so it’s related to the cast or the crew or the script or the location or
wherever we are and I think that the crew loves it I mean they they thrive on
it sometimes I’ll be like Quentin why are you screening a movie at one o’clock
in the afternoon nobody’s gonna go and he’s like yes they are and they do they
love it it’s a bonding experience and it’s just it’s special it’s one of the
special things that he does he’s seen you know more films and knows more about
them and has a point of view about little details of each one of them then
any 10 of the people combined you could ever meet it’s a phenomenal gift yes
what Quentin also did was he really validated genre movies in a way that no
one quite had before he brought attention to films that really had been
overlooked he has this magic wand of cool that anything he touches becomes
cool he loves celluloid he loves the film he
loves the images of films he loves posters he loves anything that has to do
with his business and much like Martin Scorsese it is the same sort of thank
God we have these people like Coppola like Scorsese like Lucas who love the value they see a value beyond what
most people most people see in a bunch of film cans and Quinton is a collector
of prints of movies even obscure movies you know what Tarantino did was he used
his clout to immediately bring these films to the public like he released
Jack Hill’s switchblade sisters and suddenly everybody’s getting turned on
to Jack Hill and they’re all looking at Pam Grier movies and they’re watching
blaxploitation films then he brought Lucci offal cheese the beyond into
theaters and these are films that you couldn’t even find on videotape I mean
maybe there was one crummy VHS tape and now you’re seeing a new Christine 35
Miller print in the theaters and that’s what was so cool about it was Quentin
for as much as he’s a guy who grew up in a video store is all about the
theatrical experience he wants you to see these movies in a crowd with other
people and he still keeps that alive today you know what’s what’s so great
about Quentin is he told me the death of interesting cinema was watching movies
at premieres and in screening rooms I said now that your director can’t you
get any print sent to your house he’s like that’s how you lose touch so the
only way to tell what people still want to see is to go see a movie with a
paying audience they’ll tell you whether they’re interested or not and when he’s
researching in writing his own movies he does these QT fests where he’ll play
movies for a week but it’s almost like a market research to see which materials
still connecting with the modern audience the first time I met Quentin
Tarantino was at a press junket for a film called iron monkey I think Harvey
in the middle maxime aboard and Quentin was presented to the world
well man Quentin met what we thought we had in common was the love of kung-fu
movies and I think was doing that moment we realized that we both had a vast
knowledge of the Asian cinema when he shows you a movie shows it in a
different way he would have his film festivals his grindhouse film festivals
type film festivals down in Austin you educated the audience down there too he
says you know you don’t come in here and you don’t laugh at the movies you laugh
with the movies but you’re not above the movies so whatever I show you you watch
it as if you’re you to watch it and take it seriously if it’s entertaining you
know it’s funny he left you don’t put yourself above the movie
so that kind of a mindset is really essential to any of those movies that
you watch anything that I watch I always had that in mind anything that he would
show me in his house he would give a very eloquent speech before the movie
started about why he was showing it to you what he liked about it give you this
point if you kind of pre framed it and you watch it and you enjoyed it in its
context no matter what it was in his context you you understood and you and
you got what it was part of the reason Austen is so on fire for movies and so
many you know filmmakers are coming out of the woodwork from there is because
they were exposed to things like that so they encouragement of seeing things they
never even heard of and Quinten explaining the the value of it the
historical value or what it meant to him has was huge the generosity of that quinton really has always been pushing
other filmmakers and really helping and getting behind them because he he knows
he’s from the same world we didn’t we didn’t inherit this we really came in
this on our own and and we’re shepherded by people who really liked our work and
so we do that back to other people who we know the task is daunting you come in
and try to be original voice and you try to do something in this industry that’s
tough so any kind of help you can get or inspiration or encouragement you can get
along the way it’s fantastic so we try to do that as much as we can and we put
out contests sometimes or anything that just kind of get people motivated to
come and do something and and support them and and see what happens you know
what happens you throw those seeds around you they they grow and they
sprout and and others that you find that just come walking by he give them as
much inspiration help as you can because you appreciate that you’ve had that done
to you and you want to give it back comes from the point you just meet
somebody that’s that he really grooves with and he can’t help himself he wants
to get involved and work with him and he he considers it like a privilege that
they invite him in I suppose the other way around so that’s I think that’s a
again another sign of the purity of artist in him you know when I realized
when Quinn was that I was in the presence of a genius a walking
encyclopedia of film and I asked when can he be my teacher my mentor and he
agreed it’s kind of cool because you know cuz Quentin told me that it was a
big bull tank fan he loves my work and things like that and we just was buddies
it’s just both at our own separate worlds and for me you know people look
at me as the abbot of wu-tang and a teacher to many and for me to take
somebody you own and be my teacher my Sifu or master as they call it
martial arts is unique but I saw a master and I wanted to be a student and
I asked him but he agreed and eventually that led to me traveling to China to
Beijing sitting on a set of Kill Bill with a notebook really absorbing the
process of filmmaking from a modern master with Quentin you know the fact
that he get to expand his universe in his
relationship with Eli and being involved in the hostile movies and you know
Quentin seeing that and saying oh yeah you know that this is this is great
I mean Eli loves movies just as much as Quentin does Eli loves a different type
of movie and he feeds off of it and I think that he looks to Quentin as a
mentor and they’re lucky to have each other they really are they’re lucky to
be able to collaborate and work together and teach each other things it really is
pretty exciting to see that he has that that level of interest in in cultivating
future filmmakers as Tom we don’t through the course of filming Kill Bill
I think we are you know he sat different locations from China to Japan and then
Mexico who’s in Mexico at a place called caress great resort
I think somebody wants a Quentin the question like well what is God doing
with your movie is it no no no it’s just a friend of mine is just observing and I
haven’t figured out what I want to do with him and I had no idea what he
wanted to do it me raagh help I just wanted to learn but um maybe a week
later with at the table again and I lost money acts of question or not but he
made an announcement I figured out what I want Bobby to do for the film I want
him to be my composer you don’t use composers and he told me I want you to
kind of like produced the music the way you do your new album was wu-tang he
loved how I work in the music world and I was like I’ll be my pleasure to do do
any any capacity to help out with this film and there’s another guy I like to
call my classmate Eli Roth who was on you know we see in the Clinton house and
we all hang out together and travel together and I’m you know we come with
the idea of me bringing one of my visions to life so then we presented
squinty and he said yes you guys are ready Richard’s ready and you guys doing
it together would be great you know his view but it wasn’t – Oh
Quinn came over to China and he was sitting in video village with me
and Quint asked me to shoulder that it says you know you’re doing a great job
and I was like I’ve graduated I’m doing it I’m making my teacher proud I think I
did something one day on the set he said oh the student taught the maths or
something today like you know I mean I’m like wow I’m really doing I’m really
Shawn and proving that I could be a good student you know I mean and I could take
you know this wisdom and apply it to my art and bring forth you know more
attitude to this job moviemaking in this business where not
everybody is family these guys are family and it’s we’re really lucky to
have it and sometimes everyone’s like why are you doing that what are you
doing but that’s what life is about it’s about we all make movies and we’re all
part of the circus but these guys support each other in a really amazing
way when it came time for me to do my first
movie I was Reservoir Dogs and and it was in that weird situation because I
didn’t know what damn thing about editing but I knew my movie so I had to
find somebody who would be inspired by me but wouldn’t be the boss wouldn’t
just tell me that I know what I’m talking about I know I don’t know what
I’m talking about alright but I went into the nice person all right that
would be fantastically talented and would take care of me and then when
Sally minke my editor who’s I’m really positive the only reason you guys are
giving me this is because that because you were appreciating Sally is the de
facto sally award all right she uh she came in and – for the
interview and the movie she that she’d done Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and
hey I gotta tell you man you know before I started to Kill Bill I told you my guy
hey we’ve got the editor of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I don’t care
what anybody says Donatello is not that good of a fighter that’s all Sally so
she came in and I had actually seen one of the movies she had done before I
thought she was so cool I didn’t want to watch any of her work because I didn’t
want to talk myself out of it I wanted to go from my first instinct
nup don’t put editing under a microscope if I think I can work with her and I
think she’s talented and she’s just got it she’s got it and here’s the deal she
is my only true genuine collaborator from beginning to end and that’s the way
it is I’m a writer-director so I’m always
coming from like the written word prospect of it all and that’s why I
would take such a long time because I want to face that blank pages every time
I start a new one and the thing about it was I’ve always considered this is the
case is your final draft of the script the final that’s it boom perfect send it
to the Smithsonian it’s just a sloppy first cut of your movie and the final
cut of your movie is the last draft of the script and so tonight I want to thank my
co-writer Sally minke thank you very much this has been a wonderful evening we came out of NYU film school and then
she spent the next four or five years in New York cutting just documentaries what
really made her the editor she was is that for the longest time she had to
deal with a collection of footage and make a story out of it rather than it
being scripted she also I think because a lot of those documentaries were Verret
a style was dealing with a whole collection of interesting people and so
in a way it’s like a study a way to study performance because you’re looking
at all these different people and you’re looking at subtext same thing but in
real people so she moved from documentaries into drama her first movie
was a little independent movie with Griffin Dunne in it there was really
first time director kind of raw and so that was her first drama and then
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was really her first sort of like oh wow this is uh
this is a Hollywood for her at that time it was a Hollywood movie she loved
working with Quentin they had come to pick her up or something and I just hear
giggling so you’d come through the Edit room and it was in this crappy little
office and I remember the door be closed and I just hear Quentin laughing and
Sally laughing and I thought what would I thought this was a you know an intense
movie but but but I know it’s comic as well but they would just laugh and that
I think that happened every time I went to the Edit room and quite an instant I
were in the room working I would hear giggling it was like two kids in a like
appreciating their work we don’t ever know what happened in that room we don’t
know what happened between Sally and Quentin they’re the only two that know
whatever it was it was magic and it was amazing
it’s unfortunate that she’s not here for him and for all of us but they just they
were amazing together my memory is that really from the second
they started working together Sally just loved working with Quentin and I’m
assuming from all the laughter that Quentin loved working with Sally and I I
think I think she expected that or at hope that they would keep working
together after Reservoir Dogs as soon as Quinta was done with the script or
getting ready should be like is he gonna hire me again she never she never took
it for granted that she was that first call that he was never gonna make a
movie without her she would always say oh I don’t know if he loves me anymore
and I think he’s mad at me and I don’t know if he’s gonna hire me again and I
was like Sally of course he’s gonna hire you again or I would say to Quentin I
know you’re almost done but sally has this other movie should she take this
other movie no she shouldn’t take that other movie you know I mean it was just
a given that Sally was gonna be on every one of his movies but she questions
herself as we all do sometimes but it’s amazing to see it from the other side
where you’re like of course you’re gonna be on his movie I mean I’ll never forget
meeting Salyer for the first time she came in all bubbly full of enthusiasm it
was almost like Quentin and Sally they just finished each other’s sentences
it’s just what this intangible thing that happens between people there’s such
a trust such a bond that happened between them Quentin called me right
after he met Sally and he said I’ve met this gal she’s the one she’s gonna be my
editor I just know there’s something about or were meant to work together and
that was it you know they had the most amazing relationship I’ve been in you
know 80 our sessions were like she was around and he was kind of distracted and
she made sure that things went right and she could actually speak in his voice in
a specific kind of way and she had a skill that he didn’t have
that he relied upon in a very honest sort of way and he learned a lot from
her about how his process works in terms of the kinds of stuff that she put
together for him and say well this is what you mean and her style is as
definitive in his films as his directorial style that they’re almost
the same thing he knew what to shoot for her to make his film sing in a specific
way and she knew how to arrange the music to make his notes are real
symphony those two together was such a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that’s
a great sandwich for filmmaking she loved what we did as much as we loved
what she did for us I mean even though we don’t know how to say it sometimes
because we think we did it so oh yeah that’s the way I did it and you know if
you look at it really closely you’ll see oh wow she made me look a little better
there because I was getting ready to mess that line up and she like sniped
around it and made that she kind of work but I always enjoy being in her presence
because she made me feel like I was special in the process and I always know
that you know actors in my mind I like the least special people in that process
because you know everything else you gotta have lights you gotta have this
gotta have that and editors can make or break your performances and she always
found the best parts of me to put on screen and that made me love her more
and she always said that I didn’t have any bad parts which made me love her
even even more it was great Sally always pushed the bar higher than
anybody thought it could go that was what how she felt about the work so it
was never good enough it always had to be better you know we used to call it
the disease at NYU you just couldn’t stop making the movie you’d do anything
you know to keep trying to to make it more effective and and I
think they were both like that which is probably why you know that became such a
great collaboration that sequence in Pulp Fiction with the needle was one of
her favorite sequences I remember when she was cutting it there was a moment
all of a sudden it just went and it started and it worked it’s not really
about fancy editing it was really about creating the scene and the performances
and being in the right place at the right time so she always liked that but
that I think she was really proud of inglorious she loved what she did in
Inglourious discipline man mean you don’t even mean
explain what come on say 50 to join some community by proceeding on cinema nicked Judy’s a fast see movie you know
what she’d like to all of it she she loved house of blue leaves in Kill Bill there’s a moment she liked and I’ve used
it sometimes to illustrate that when you have contrasts you create excitement in
Reservoir Dogs where they had no money no time it’s a very static scene
I think it’s Harvey and Steve Buscemi in the bathroom and Steve Buscemi starts
telling him what happened what went wrong what happened and it goes on for a
really long time it’s just one shot if my memory is right and then all of a
sudden cuts into the Steadicam shot of Steve running down the street shooting
after the robbery and it’s really only two angles from behind and in front of
him and it feels like the most exciting thing you’ve ever seen in your life
because before it you were like completely static and then this thing
goes bang at you and you’re like oh and I think it was that was the beginning of
sort of that kind of you know the in in in glorious when they were in the in the
club that scene is broken by intense violence – and it’s it’s sort of that
ability for it to go to go to hell all of a sudden real fast and really in your
face which is it’s a really effective cutting technique also in Pulp Fiction
when Bruce Willis is in the Honda and he stops and looks up and Ving Rhames is
crossing the street with his his fast food container she always enjoyed like finding the the
moment where she kind of lulled the audience into something or stopped to
open up something and then slap them again so uh but you know it was designed
I mean Quentin designed it that way so it’s not it’s not Sally’s fault but it
but Sally loved she loved doing that she loved manipulating those moments this is
a real partner even talking about the relationship like when they’re working
on the movie together and she was pregnant and he felt like I felt like it
was his child too but like he was part of the father too he was there with her
through all her pregnancy and it was a really close relationship I mean my mom
was envious that in heaven net and editor to share that relationship with I
wasn’t there cutting by myself just to save money but um but yeah she’s a she
was terrific sally was a is a big contributor and a
real a real voice in his movies when she was pregnant with Bella she was afraid
that all the the murderous noises coming out of this the out of the avid we’re
gonna somehow affect how Bella came out and she would have this violent child
that remembered all this profanity and and horror
so she was she was always sort of and she was of course always worried about
that there was radiation coming out of the monitors so she bought special UV
filters to protect her but she’s actually in there pregnant you know
still working away she was very quick very fast editor and
very efficient and when she leave at the end of the day she was here for dinner
and making dinner and taking care of the kids that was her first priority yeah my
first eight-minute movie is the only time we work together I thought to
myself at last he was a place where you could let your
hair down they filled with people like you wouldn’t believe
you know people finish what they start we cut stuff some documentaries before
but yeah that was the last time wish I could never book her she was
always busy with Quentin nurse but I think also was sort of a silent
agreement between us that our jobs would be separate that we would help each
other and collaborate in the way that you know I’d read her script and she’d
read mine and she asked me how she was doing and I’d ask her how I was doing
but our careers were separate and and I think that was a eventually a smart move
even if we didn’t consciously do it that’s the way it happened and it made
it much easier to come together and go and this happened to me yeah this
happened to me plus sally would have been too much of a taskmaster and for me
she would have I mean it would have been she would have been hassling me about
why didn’t you get this close up and how could you tell a story like that and
they would have been you know it would have been a married couple in an edit
room and that’s not fair to anybody it’s strange to think of a Tarantino film
without Sally Mickey because she’s really his other half I mean they were
such close friends and collaborators and I was in the fortunate position of being
able to work side by side with Sally where I was acting lawyers bastards but
also directed nation’s pride so I thought Sally would cut it but I shot so
much footage they’re like all right let’s just set up an avid for Eli so
Sally was in one room and I was in the next room and I would cut some scenes
together and Sally would come in and take a look at it and she was just the
most wonderful loving person I mean all around the avid were pictures of her
kids and her beautiful kids Lucas and Bella and the dogs Zoe and her husband
Dean I knew her as a as a mom of her beautiful children but her daughter
Bella and my daughter Zoe they went to us
our camp in upstate New York a place called French woods and so one summer
just a few four years ago I think it was we were there at the same time you know
and this sweltering he you know visiting our kids doing plays and then it up in
the law and is hanging in it was just kind of this moms bonding about daughter
stuff you know our kids were just going into that teenage intense intense time
and and she was a wonderful warm connected human being yeah there’s a
song that I wrote called God that um when I first wrote it I was um I was
writing it on with the idea of people we lost of course I lost my cousin ODB but
and I have also alerts it was him but whether it’s all Sally past that I
finished the song instead of selling it I gave it out to the world as a gift so
uh you know she touched many people lives and there was collecting things
that you know for charity and things that you know that you know the
sensitive family and I was like wow it’s easy to send money you know it’s easy
you know to send flowers what can I give you know me and she
always told me see Doug my music’s cozy like you know say children like wu-tang
clan when she caught me some tickets one day so that’s what can I give must show
you know how I feel in show you know how much I’ve expected as a person and we’ll
miss her and so the song gone I put it out on a Wednesday but the first song
that I ever gave away for free I said well I’m gonna do one Wednesday and I’m
gonna give a song to my friend Sally make a it’s called God and in the song
it does mention that through our seeds we all reach eternity peace and
blessings it’s just another journey and what I mean by that is do I cease
meaning through our children be all gonna be cheat on me because we keep
reproducing ourselves and I and I our ways and accent du’a genetics will come
out but also to all of thought what do I sees a work you
know so our films that she worked on and the people she spoken to and inspired
and do our children will carry on to Eternity and that’s what that song was
all about is that you know it’s just another part of this journey you know Quentin thinks a lot about is
art and what he’s doing and his and he knows that he’s only on the planet for a
short period of time and he has a certain amount of work to do while he’s
here and he’s very conscious about you know the fact that he has an
extraordinary gift he knows that not in any kind of a
egotistical way if anything I’d say it’s more of a sense of responsibility that
he you know he’s told me before that you know everybody’s everybody’s given
certain gifts and you’re on the planet to do a certain thing and this is what
he was put here to do it so he takes it really seriously when we were shooting
inglourious basterds the crew went out one night and there was a video screen
playing Kill Bill and Quentin and I were standing there talking in the scene with
go-go comes up and the whole spinning the spike ball and the fight between uma
and go-go Quentin couldn’t take his eyes off of it
and I said to him how many times have you seen this scene and he said I don’t
care he said it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life and the fact that
he was riveted to the screen it was a step it was astonishing to me to watch
him watching his work and still just be staring at it in in this proud father
sort of scenario I want to go visit him on the set of Kill Bill and he just
looked he looked beat I mean he was just really it was a long sheet I mean cool
of course they split it into two movies it was although it was a long was in one
movie was a saga he didn’t realize he was making a saga that was gonna be
split into two full saga length movies and I said have you been to the editing
room he said no I haven’t and I don’t wanna watch anything till I’m done
shooting so he sits like why can I go sing I
don’t never see what what you’re doing so say hey you go see you go see for me
and I went it’s telling this in there Sal he was all excited she was you know
he won’t come into the Edit room he wants to wait till he’s done and so I
watched some of the stuff and he was amazing so I went back and I said you’ve
got to go into the Edit room you owe it to yourself to go see what you’re doing
you’re working on a classic cut together some footage show it to your crew they
you will go apeshit and it’s gonna give them new life to finish this movie when
they see that that’s what they’re working on it will give them a whole new
sense of energy and their engine that’s what we used to do my movies I’m just
still done we showed it trailer the first week let the crew knew they’re
working on a movie that was gonna I was gonna test the tug so um he went he was
so tired I guess he just succumbed went checked it out got really excited cut
something showed up crew I remember coming back to visit and Stevie J was
walking around with us bringing his stuff and I was so pumped and you know
the schedule that seemed like so long now it seemed very short now they knew
that they were on a mission to finish this movie and I guess that really
affected him as I was watching the movie credits at the end of kill bill that
says that the especial things to my brother cuz I think that’s what helped
get him through that movie cuz it was a that was
I don’t know how he did it it’s just what it what a job that is it’s just it
was a huge amount of Herculean effort to make that movie well he has such a
naturally collaborative spirit you know even the idea that him and Rodriguez
relish and working together they’re so dramatically different filmmakers it’s
it’s astounding that they could even coexist in the same world but they do we
would be bouncing around and yeah I’ll do music for Kill Bill 2 and you come
direct at all sequence and Sin City I mean that’s what we would have done in
high school we would have been helping each other out not just to get the help
of that person but to also get just the juice and the you know the excitement
that comes from it just that abundance overabundance of creativity that happens
when you get people in room I haven’t taped somewhere I let the camera roll in
the room when when Quentin came in the morning of the shoe for Sin City and he
brought his take of what he was going to do with the material because it was
genius it was so simple I was the do his genius and simple he just said your
whole movies voice over I don’t want to do that and posts I’m only here one day
so I think if we get the actor to do it he should say his voiceover out loud it
should be a monologue that he delivers because he’s talking to himself anyway
so rather than be a voiceover that we record later some later date make that
guy Clive Owen who fortunately was a brilliant actor and Quentin gave I saw
Quentin give him the confidence to be able to nail that speech on the day you
know you know this voice-over you’re gonna do once from now you’re doing it
right now on camera in the next 10 minutes can you memorize it when we did
grindhouse I remember there being a t-shirt that was given out that one
quote was was from Robert about you know get that old fucking camera off my set
and then underneath it quit and saying get that digital shit out of here like
they were sort of having these little sort of fun ribbing at each other about
technical versus the way people people work but you know the common denominator
is they just love it they love what they do the idea was to go to Austin and
the two of them to make these movies and go back to back and make these 60-minute
movies and for us to use all of robert’s crew and just shoot down at troublemaker
and just be in Austin and have fun and like just you know bang it out and
Quentin and Zoe really connected on Kill Bill and he basically wrote death Proof
for her and he wanted to just make this fun little movie and he did I mean we
shot it to look not great you know we had all these cute little girls down
there like it was just supposed to be a fun little thing for him and Robert to
do and that’s what it was Quentin is a genius at holding tension I
mean in Inglourious I mean those that that first the way it opens I mean
that’s really basically two guys at a table and I’m like this the whole time
and I remember I remember when I read it I was like that but when I saw it it was
about a hundred times worse and that’s that’s that’s more nerve-wracking than
people blown up crap and shooting each other ever as as is the the other long
scene in the in the basement of the restaurant which I remember watching a
35 minute version of and it was fine I had no I wouldn’t have done anything
with it and they still compressed it probably because no one would believe
that one scene could be that long as a special rung in hell was up for people
who waste good scotch seeing as I may be rapping on the door momentarily that must say damn good stuff sir know
about this pickle we find ourselves in what appear there’s any one thing that
you do and what would that be stink let’s see our feeders into your
Nazi boss he’s doing the things that only he wants to see he’s not doing him
for a result and that’s why this they’re successful and that’s why they have
lasting impact cuz he makes him for his theater he makes them for himself and if
other people like what he likes to love it and most people like what he likes
could they all love his movies and he just does what he does he doesn’t think
about the ramifications of everything other than the ramifications to him and
his story sense not to pander to an audience or he’ll do in Pulp Fiction
that shoot draws a square or it says two minutes later and that doesn’t appear
anywhere else in the movie fuck is his place this is Jack Rabbit swims
and Elvis man should love it come on man let’s go get a steak you can get a steak
here daddy oh don’t be a Oh after you kitty cat
and that idiosyncratic I’ll do what I want
thing the freshness and distinction of it and lack of formula is what makes it
so appealing his vision has never wavered
it really has it he’s made the movies that he has wanted to make all of his
career and you know what he doesn’t churn a movie out every three months
he’d crafts them he protects them he nurtures them he takes heat for them and
he defends them I love the fact that he has never sold
out he really loves what he does and that he protects his movies and the
stories that he tells there they’re controversial and they’re raw and
they’re visceral and they’re violent but they’re so mesmerizing and captivating
that you can’t take your eyes off of them he’s one of the two or three
filmmakers that I will go and see everything he does as soon as I can
and actually I remember he he called me up to see Kill Bill part one she come on
it was a screen another kind of skiing in New York City and we went to the
screening and he sat next to me and while I was watching he was like he was
it was he was getting into the movie and talking to me through the movie he’s
only making movies first for a small part of his life first the time he’s
your friend Quentin he’s your brother Quentin I go hang out with Quinn he goes
off to shoot a movie I don’t see him for eight months sometimes a year he comes
back I watched the movie and I’m like you forget you forget he’s Superman
you forget he’s in that Clark can you forget it oh my god I forgot I forgot
you’re that guy who makes these movies how did you did you do that and you know
him and you’ve seen him do it but you still can’t believe the result you look
at the result and it’s almost like you’re looking at somebody else that’s a
still such a great feeling to get when I finished watching inglorious basterds
when I’ve seen stuff from from Django oh my god did you do that how did you dad
as you do that movie yes oh come on you know how I didn’t know yeah but I don’t
know how you did that I don’t know how you shot that thing it’s impossible I
never could have done that I never gonna in a million years how long were you
shooting he told me how long he was shooting this I couldn’t have done that
could not have done it I don’t know how you did it it’s amazing when somebody
she knows so well could still surprised the hell out of you and that’s what he
is I mean he’s just he’s amazing he’s just amazing he pushed the boundaries of
of genre and storytelling and narrative structure and a certain kind of energy
and tone and a way to tell a story that was so
completely Quentin I mean if you look at sort of who are the Masters of cinema in
the 20th and 21st century Quentin will stand tall and that group what’s
interesting about Quentin’s fame is that it is entirely from his talent and his
gift and his passion for for film and that is very rare in our society he’s
famous for his achievement as an accomplishment in his and his talent and
that’s a real unique special Fame and I think deserved you can look at movies
before Quentin Tarantino and movies after he’s not much of a pivotal figure
in world cinema the unsung hero you know he has a very humble beginning of being
a fan of film and the fan of film becomes a master filmmaker the best
thing that ought to say I’ll take the title of his film and say that he’s
injected until the process of a filmmaking Pulp Fiction the mosaic of
your whole career is viewed at one point but in the moment-to-moment measurement
of your career you’re delivering each new thing and some people are might be
surprised some people might expect only great things from you but there’s always
this pressure to deliver a good show and that’s okay that’s what we’re here for
it is deliver a good show and he can do it I’m better than anyone and he just
loves what he does and that is part of it you mean you’re putting on a show
you’re put on a show and you roll cameras while you’re putting on the show
so he’s the best showman there is

24 Replies to “Quentin Tarantino 20 Years Of Film making [2012]”

  1. 30:20 love Tim Roth explaining that they couldn't get Reservoir Dogs into theaters because "Iron Man 53 was playing."

  2. I mean Harvey hasn't been convicted. Look, if there was no Harvey to fund Tarantino pictures, than honestly, probably none of these masterpieces would have been made. And to be honest these were probably gold digger whores looking for a payday and made it all up. Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are much more important. Most of you know I'm right.

  3. "Harvey Keitel is bringing us out espressos…"
    Maybe that's why they put the coffee in Pulp Fiction, so The Wolf could take a sip and instantly acknowledge the quality.
    "Goddamn, Jimmie! This is some serious gourmet shit!"

  4. kinda made harvey keitel seem like a cheap prick. making a movie with these dudes, convinces them to cast in ny then doesnt sit with them on the plane

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