I didn't have the sensibilities of your ordinary filmmaker, let alone your ordinary African-American filmmaker. My heroes were John Waters, Pedro Almodovar, and actors that were part of that world.
My earliest experience was reading Edward Albee's 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' at 8, you know, with a bunch of kids on my steps - on the stoops - and knowing that I wanted to direct them saying the lines. I don't really know how to articulate that 'cause there wasn't someone to show me.
I want to see movies I can walk away from and say, 'Wait, what happened there? Hold up, what did I just see? What?' and then it connects to something that you personally, unequivocally know to be truth.
Putting on a movie is like going to war - for me, at least. It's all about time; time is money, and we don't have it. So it's all about getting to know each other intimately quickly. You are with family members that you like or don't like, but you can't leave them because you're stuck with them.
I had trained myself not to go to the bathroom throughout my elementary and junior high school years because I was bullied. And you don't understand why you're being bullied, so you just suppress it.
When you're paying everybody nothing, I mean, they have homes to pay for. And my movies are like putting on theater. Nicole Kidman is at craft services, and John Cusack is moving furniture; there are no egos. The only ego is the story.