The film-makers were called “film makers,” but the filmmakers are called film-makers. They were called film makers because the film makers were called film photographers. There’s a film here, and there’s a photograph there, and that would make it a photograph. People who made and photographed, who were called film photographers, were called “Film makers,” but the film makers were called “film-makers.”
They all had a name for the project they were working on. One film maker had to invent the name. It was called the National Film Development Bank. I asked the other film makers and they said they had a name for the project. It’s called the National Film Development Bank.
The National Film Development Bank started out with $20 million in cash—the national credit card. I mean, it was the big money. It took me seven years to get that started, through several different agencies. My father always said, “What’s the point of going to the bank. You’re going back to your job. There’s nothing for you.” And I said, “Well, maybe.” It took them so long, there wasn’t one man in my father’s lifetime who was a big businessman. I never met one.
When did you feel it would turn out well?
It was a struggle to get the bank established in the first place. My father always said that it would be about 10 to 15 years before everyone would want to be involved in films. By that time, every kid had a camera. Everyone wanted a camera. They would get used to having a camera, so if the bank wasn’t going to get started, we’d still do it.
Do you see the film-making as a career?
Well, I’m in the business for the money. But I’m really not a businessman. I don’t know the market better than anybody else. I’m just a director. When I worked with Walt Disney, Walt and I had a contract and the company got together every week and made all sorts of decisions together. I mean, that’s how a company does business.
That was so different from my father’s experience. He just made a decision on his own. That’s how Walt did film business. Everybody worked for that contract, and everybody put in $100 million a year, and we just had the fun of that.
How did that work? The company made all sorts of decisions about the movie, the story
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