Director Michael Bay (Transformers) often traces his interest in action films back to when he attached firecrackers to a toy train and filmed the ensuing fiery disaster with his mother’s 8 mm camera. The fire department was called and he was grounded.
Taxi Driver (1976) was made with a low budget of only $1.9 million. Robert De Niro & Cybill Shepherd received only $35k for the film while Scorsese received only $65k. Despite the low budget, it went on to receive 4 nominations at the 1977 Academy Awards.
Actor Dorian Harewood (Eightball) in Full Metal Jacket asked for more money when Kubrick inevitably needed more time on the contract. Dorian asked for more money and Kubrick was furious and killed him off — in the movie. Kubrick had him laying on the cold ground for hours and riddled him with bullets.
At the age of 17, Steven Spielberg directed a sci-fi film called “Firelight”. The budget was $500, and it was shown at a local cinema, with 500 people coming, and tickets costing a dollar each. However, one person paid $2, so the movie made $1, making it Spielberg’s first commercial success.
Legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese, best known for his violent gangster films, has used the same female editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, on every movie he’s made since Raging Bull in 1980.
Werner Herzog once promised fellow documentary maker Errol Morris that he would eat his shoe if Morris ever finished his movie on pet cemeteries, because he found Morris to be incapable of ever finishing his projects. In 1978 Morris finished his film, and Herzog publicly cooked and ate his shoe. Herzog also made a short film about eating his shoe. The name of the film is Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.
Shortly before his death Stanley Kubrick had all the outtakes and deleted scenes from his films destroyed. Burning “thousands of cans” of film so that no one could re-edit his movies.
Director Stanley Kubrick’s secretary often heard the sound of a book hitting the wall as he flung it into a reject pile when looking for a novel to adapt. When it had been a while since she had heard any sound, she walked in to check on her boss and found Kubrick deeply engrossed in The Shining.
While James Cameron was stricken with food poisoning in Rome on a film set, he had a nightmare about an invincible robot hit man sent from the future to kill him giving him the idea for the Terminator catapulting his career.
James Cameron was homeless when writing The Terminator, and sold the rights for $1, on the condition he could direct it.