#313 Christopher Nolan

Episode Summary

What I learned from reading The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan by Tom Shone.

Episode Notes

What I learned from reading The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan by Tom Shone.


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(7:00) The only way I know how to work is to sort of burrow in on one project very obsessively.

(7:25) People will say to me, "There are people online who are obsessed with Inception or obsessed with Memento.”

They're asking me to comment on that, as if I thought it were weird or something, and I'm like, Well, I was obsessed with it for years. Genuinely obsessed with it. So it doesn't strike me as weird. . . I feel like I have managed to wrap them the up in it way I try to wrap myself up.

(8:30) The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron by Rebecca Keegan and The Return of James Cameron, Box Office King by Zach Baron. (Founders #311)

(11:00) I don’t think of myself as an artist. I’m a craftsman. I don’t make a work of art; I make a movie. — George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones. 

(15:30) Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride. (Founders #209)

(22:45) Nolan is relentlessly resourceful. He wants to spend as as little money as possible so he can maintain as much control over the project as possible.

(23:30) He makes his first movie on the weekends while he working a full-time job!

(29:30) The efficiency of filmmaking is for me a way of keeping control. The pressure of time, the pressure of money. Even though they feel like restrictions at the time, and you chafe against them, they're helping you make decisions. They really are. If I know that deadline is there, then my creative process ramps up exponentially.

(34:00) The result of making a billion dollar blockbuster: Suddenly his position at Warner Brothers went from solid to unassailable.

(37:00) Stories can add to your own thinking but you need your own foundation to add them to first.

(38:00) I know it's more fun when we're all together and we can do the thing together. That's why we keep it as a family business.

(39:00) Rolls-Royce: The Magic of a Name: The First Forty Years of Britain s Most Prestigious Company by Peter Pugh. (Founders #287)

(43:30) Every time a new feature or product was proposed, he decreed that the narrative should take the shape of a mock press release. The goal was to get employees to distill a pitch into its purest essence, to start from something the customer might see—the public announcement—and work backward. Bezos didn’t believe anyone could make a good decision about a feature or a product without knowing precisely how it would be communicated to the world. — The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone. (Founders #179)

(45:30) Once your children are born, you can never look at yourself through your own eyes anymore; you always look at yourself through their eyes.

(49:30) I often have terrible luck with the weather, but my philosophy is to shoot no matter what the weather is, always shooting no matter what weather, just keeping going, keeping going. Letting everybody on the crew and cast know we're really serious about doing that, no matter what the conditions are, so they're not looking out the window first thing and going, Oh, we will or won't shoot today.


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