American audiences, a lot of people couldn't understand a word of 'The Witch.'
Witches were part of my imaginary childhood playground, so I wanted to make an archetypal fairytale about the mythic idea of what New England was to me as a kid.
I was interested in dark subject matter for sure, including folklore, fairy tales, mythology, archetypal stories of people going into the bowels of the forest.
Tons of folktales have to do with hares and witches. Basically, witches all over Europe turn into hares and are able to do malevolent things in the form of a hare. It goes back to the great god Pan. Pan is, if we're going to do archetypal projections, related to the Christian Satan, but as a child, Pan was wrapped in a hare's hide.
Cinemascope has become synonymous with 'epic,' and absolutely if you're shooting armies and certain kinds of vast landscapes, you do want that panoramic canvas to work on. But if you look at art history there's not a whole lot of epic paintings that are in that aspect ratio.
As a kid, picturing people who grew up in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I walking around in hose and latched shoes in the woods behind my house was an interesting atmospheric thing for me.
Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga' was huge for me. Seeing how all the creatures were made, looking inside Jabba The Hut, all of the maquettes lined up, building the world... 'This is a job?!' I was always avidly watching special features and behind the scenes stuff.
I remember seeing re-releases of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' and 'Bambi' in the theater very young. They had huge impacts on me, particularly the dark aspects.
Conan the Barbarian,' 'Star Wars,' 'Mary Poppins' and 'The Wizard of Oz' were my earliest VHS obsessions.
We grew up on Harold Pinter, Sam Shepard, Samuel Beckett. You're making something about men on the verge of a nervous breakdown, you're going to look to those guys.
Bergman's my favorite filmmaker, if I had to choose.
Murnau is neck to neck with Bergman as my favorite director. He's responsible for some of the best images in cinema of all time, from 'Nosferatu' to 'Faust' to 'Sunset.'
When we learned about Salem at school, the whole thing was confusing. Because the idea of the witch hunt is used as a symbol to describe people searching for something that's basically untrue, it cemented in my mind as a kid that witches weren't real.
Charles Dickens is a lot of fun to read but it's not obscure, and that's just fine.
People return to the same things. Charles Dickens wrote the same story a million times - and 'A Christmas Carol.'
If you could custom build new cinemas for every release of every movie, I think filmmakers would work in a lot of different aspect ratios.
I certainly grew up in coastal New Hampshire, but I prefer to play in the woods than go to Hampton Beach or whatever.
Guillermo del Toro is able to invent his worlds. I would find the pressure of having to invent crippling.
I enjoy the act of research. I'm researching as a means to an end, but I literally just enjoy reading about how people lived in the past and understanding it better.
I'm a big fan of silent cinema and I think that before I got into the canon of European arthouse cinema, the first interesting films I liked as a kid were German expressionist silent films.