My goal when writing my screenplay - as should be the goal of every screenwriter - was to make the greatest movie NEVER made.
I loved high school. Because in high school, we all had to be a certain way. We all had to fit in a certain clique. And if anyone came in who was even a little different, they were killed for it.
Heathers (1988) was my response to the way the media and other films treated teenagers. They didn't seem to have a clue as to what young people were about and how they acted. Films often portray teenagers as the innocent victims of a cruel society. I've always felt that young people were born with a lot of evil already in them. I wrote Heathers (1988) with the idea that most teens are not innocent victims, and that it's a cruel world from day one.
You kid yourself into thinking, 'I'm going to do one for them and one for me,' and then you realize they're all for them. So I came to this point where I realized I hadn't really written anything -- I don't even have that drawer full of Orson Welles projects that never got made. 'Sex and Death 101' came out of just wanting something in the drawer, so that when I'm dangling from a noose above it, there it is.
Writing is a pleasure for me. I mean, I take a very long time to write all my scripts, but I do it at my own pace. I have a unique system of naps that I take between work sessions. And then it's very warm and comfy, and the editing room is also a warm and comfy cave. But when I'm directing I feel like the cave man is going to go out that one time a year and go kill a woolly mammoth with a spear. I've learned to enjoy myself doing it but I'm never relaxed. It's just not my comfort zone. And it's amazing just on the smallest molecular level how things can get lost in translation going from your mind to somebody else who's on your wavelength almost completely. It feels like you're making the movie brick by brick as a director, [so] definitely exhaustion comes in.