I populated 'The Bourne Identity' with real characters from American history, specifically characters from the Iran-Contra affair, which my father ran the investigation of. But at the heart of it was a fictional character.
The beating heart of your story... that's not what shows up in a trailer. The other stuff is what shows up in a trailer, because that's what gets people in to the seats, and that's how studios make their money.
I had just come off doing a lot of commercials when I did 'Go,' so a part of the fast pace and efficiency comes from the discipline I had to learn from telling stories in 25-second increments, and that type of discipline is insane.
I've often found, as I did with 'Bourne,' where I was inspired by the events of Iran-Contra when I designed the CIA for the 'Bourne' franchise, that the reality of how things work is usually more compelling than the superficial, made-up version that Hollywood sometimes does.
I started my career wanting to make a 'James Bond' movie, and I couldn't get hired! I made 'The Bourne Identity,' and ultimately the impact of that film was that it changed the 'James Bond' franchise.
The system did not want me to make 'Go.' And I sort of stood up to the system and made the movie I wanted to make, and the fact that I did that and I'm proud of the movie means I'm really proud of myself when I look back on that.
There's no reason my films can't work as hard as VR does to hook an audience and never let them go, so I think that that it turns the volume up a little bit on storytelling. The same way when I was doing commercials and then I went and shot 'Go,' and 'Go' has a level of pace that is unlike any of my other movies.
When I set out to make 'Bourne Identity,' my main goal for the franchise was to create something where it feels like you're in the action. You're not just passively watching it from far away. That's something that I have constantly aspired to do - even in 'Swingers,' to feel like you're Jon Favreau; you're not just watching him.
From a production point of view, I still have one foot firmly planted in the independent film world, and much of the shooting on 'Jumper' was done 'Swingers'-style because that was the only way we could afford to do it.
A part of me is a liberal New Yorker involved in politics and certain attitudes about movies. I kind of lost my indie credibility over 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith.' I know I haven't lost it. I just have to go make an independent movie. I just have to do it. Just for me.
My dad couldn't connect to my wanting to be a filmmaker. He was very connected in entertainment, and through him I met Steven Spielberg and got rides on his private plane to California. I'd see Spielberg's people reading scripts. I was like, 'That's what I want to be when I grow up.'