Peter Bogdanovich

Before the Scene with Peter Bogdanovich

by AJ Buckley on December 19, 2011

Before the Scene is where we all start. In a small town with our families. In front of a mirror with our friends. The days spent sleeping on a couch. The nights working at a bar. Living with the unknown and surrounded by uncertainty. It’s about the times that define us. It’s about the darkness just before the limelight.

Peter Bogdanovich is an Academy Award-nominated director, writer and actor. His most acclaimed films include The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon and They All Laughed. He is also the author of This is Orson Welles, the authoritative biographical work on the legendary director of Citizen Kane. His next project as an actor is The Tell-Tale Heart.

What made you want to become a filmmaker?
Oh, I don’t know. I thought I was going to be an actor. And I wanted to be a movie star. For a while when I was a child, I decided to be an actor and I started in the theatre first. I started living in New York and at some point, I decided I wanted to direct and not act. I think the first time I became aware of a movie director was seeing Citizen Kane when I was about sixteen. I suppose it was because Orson was up there acting, and I figured out he was also directing. That interested me. That’s sort of how I got in to thinking about it.

What was your biggest fear?
That I wouldn’t get to make pictures. Or at least, the pictures I wanted to make.

What was your lowest point?
That’s a complicated question because I had success in the theatre first. Then, I had a big flop in the theatre, which was a low point. Then we moved to California, mainly because I had a big flop in New York. I realized that I did most of the writing about Hollywood subjects. I really wanted to make movies not plays. I didn’t want to direct plays; I wanted to direct movies. Then, it was sort of an upward climb to make Targets and, eventually, The Last Picture Show. I don’t think there was a real terrible downer, like the play flopping. That was terrible. There’s more!

{ 1 comment }