If ever I was feeling down I would go and write something. It's a form of escape.
— M. Night Shyamalan
The first two movies I directed failed, when I was 21 and 23, and that was the greatest thing that could have happened.
I don't like to chase an audience. You can smell when someone is chasing an audience and it's not good.
So 'The Last Airbender' 's philosophy and culture feels like a beautiful idea to me: That we inherently have connections to the elements and what they teach us, and to each other.
My normal cycle for movies is eighteen months and each part is separate.
I offer originality: you don't know what my films are like until you go to them. I think that's the reason I've been getting all this attention.
'The Last Airbender' is genetically engineered for me. I love martial arts. I study it. The movie's based on a lot of Buddhist and Hindu philosophy. I was raised Hindu.
I grew up watching Steven Spielberg and scary movies.
That's something we should be taught as kids: To be okay with ourselves.
I've never had an issue with studios. I believe in them as true creative partners in the process.
When you say 'fear of the unknown', that is the definition of fear; fear is the unknown, fear is what you do not know, and it's genetically within us so that we feel safe. We feel scared of the woods because we're not familiar with it, and that keeps you safe.
I like to write in a shroud of secrecy because I have to keep finding ways to scare myself.
I knew the moment it happened, it was a miracle. I could have been kissing her when she threw up. It would have scarred me for life. I may never have recovered.
When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever's going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope.
Being insecure - I'm a master, a virtuoso - they can be handing me the keys to the kingdom and all I can think is, I hope I don't drop the key.
My secret to all casting, and specifically kids, is cast good human beings.
If I had a big brother who was a year older than me or something, I probably wouldn't have ended up being a filmmaker.
I'm a big believer in our connection to nature.
Over the course of history, the people who are not scared go into the woods and are mauled by a bear, are not going to survive.
'The Exorcist' is the scariest movie ever made. It just felt dead-on real, like you were watching the existence of the devil.
I have worked hard and learnt that I have to make a decision - whether I am going to conform and protect myself or not. I chose not to.
I feel most akin as an artist, in my life and my career, to Agatha Christie.
I have a naive outlook on life. That's who I am.
If I'm hesitant at all about an idea, then that's not the right idea.
Movie making is not like other art forms, like painting, or writing a novel, because that can be digested or interpreted... It takes two years to make each one of these, and it's always judged on money.
There is no one looking out for us. We are all alone.
There are a lot of things I can take, and a few that I can't. What I can't take is when my older brother, who's everything that I want to be, starts losing faith in things. I saw that look in your eyes last night. I don't ever want to see that look in your eyes again.
Is it possible that there are no coincidences?
Always in life bad times will lead to great times.
The thing that's protected me creatively is that the movies have made profits.
My biggest fear in life is to be average.
The combination of the CGI, 3-D, and sound effects, it's just impossible to separate them. It gives you a more immersive experience, and I prefer that.
I love my stories being multi-layered, and coming at it from different angles, so that you don't understand the film's true emotional motivation until the very end.
Anime is intended to have ambiguous features. That's part of the art form.
For instance, 'The Sixth Sense' had mediocre to bad reviews. Slowly, the audience pushed it and it received critical attention.
When I was a kid, I had two great guilty pleasures. One was horror movies and the other was martial arts movies.
I don't want to pretend I'm any cooler or smarter than I am.
I think I take what you might call a B-movie story, deal with B-movie subjects, and I treat it as if it's an A-movie in terms of my approach, my crew, my actors, my ethics and so on. I guess that's my trademark or one of them, anyway!
Movies will end up being this esoteric art form, where only singular people will put films out in a small group of theaters.
Are you in my dream too?
See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky?
There's a monster outside my room, can I have a glass of water?