When you make a film, you like to run it with an audience. They tell you you're narrow-minded or subjective, or that seems too long, or that doesn't work.
It's only been a couple of times in my life that I've really locked horns with actors. It did not hurt the films, it just hurt the moment of the filmmaking.
I was painting sets, working in editorial as an assistant, driving their trucks, lying that I knew how to drive a truck, and doing commercials and documentaries.
I had life threats, because people accused me of approaching Brando as God and his son was Jesus. I literally had people saying my blood would run in the streets for doing that.
If you had the opportunity and some talent, there was no way you couldn't progress, because it was an open market. There was the advertising world, and there was the documentary world.
It was 1978 when Superman came out, and I kept thinking, Why don't they do something about it? They've done all these crappy attempts at comic book film adaptations. What can we do different? Why don't we just re-release this thing?
It was the beginning of film for television. So we had all of these great opportunities. Northwestern was probably the only major film school of its kind at the time that was graduating anybody important.
When I was doing half-hour shows, I loved it and was preparing myself for the hour shows. Then when I did the hour shows, I was preparing myself for the specials and features.