John Carpenter: '3D films are so exciting. Until you put those stupid glasses on'
Sunday 16 October 2011
It was horrible losing my passion for film-making I'd been working steadily since 1970 [on films from Assault on Precinct 13 to Halloween] and eventually became exhausted by the whole process. By [2001's Ghosts of Mars] it was total burnout. So I took some time off, away from Hollywood, and got to reconnect with my family. With The Ward [out earlier this year], I found the joys of making movies again, and now I'm back to developing a couple of new projects.
There are only two types of horror stories It's all about where evil comes from. One is that it's from the outside: the other tribe, the other person, the people who live in the woods; the other type is the interior story, that evil comes from your own heart. That's a harder story to tell.
We're born afraid As soon as we come out the womb we start crying. Mother nature has programmed us with peripheral vision to be scared of things that move quickly towards us, as they might want to eat us. We're all frightened of death, the unknown and the loss of loved ones, which is why horror generally works across cultures the world over.
I learnt to fly a helicopter as I'd never put my life on the line I was of the Vietnam generation but never went to fight; I got out of it. Yet I was making movies about people in dangerous situations, so I became a pilot to experience a part of that. It was so outside of my comfort zone, but I learnt to do it pretty well, which surprised me.
3D movies are just a gimmick I was around for 3D part-one in the 1950s as a kid, and saw a lot of those films. The idea was so exciting, until you put those stupid glasses on, your eyes started going crazy and you'd think, "This is crap!" But it's called showbusiness, not showart, so if someone pays me a whole lot of money, I might do something in that format.
Hollywood hasn't run out of ideas The problem [behind the myriad remakes] is that all this cable TV, iPad use and social networking has taken attention away from movies, and it's hard to punch through all that clutter. So studios bring back titles that people recognise, because it's such a big risk these days doing something new.
John Carpenter, 63, is a film director and screenwriter. 'The Ward' is out on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils