David Gordon Green was born on April 9, 1975 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. He is a producer and director, known for George Washington (2000), Prince Avalanche (2013) and Joe (2013).
Trade Mark (2)
Use of retro studio logos (if possible) and retro-style opening credits
Using practical locations (outdoors)
Attended North Carolina School of the Arts, graduating in 1998.
1993 graduate of Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas. Jay Humphries, of the National Football League's Minnesota Vikings, was in David's high school graduating class.
1990 graduate of Richardson West Junior High in Richardson, Texas.
Cites John Boorman's Deliverance (1972) as one of his all-time favorite movies, which he saw for the first time when he was just 10 years old. Curiously enough, Bill McKinney, who had played the squeal-like-a-pig mountain man in that movie, played Jamie Bell's genial grandfather in Green's Undertow (2004) - 32 years later.
Inducted into the Texas Film of Fame on March 6, 2014 in Austin, Texas.
Personal Quotes (16)
I don't necessarily think 26-year-old white guys are that interesting. So why would I want to make another movie about their coffee shops and romantic pratfalls?
I was totally into Iron Eagle. I saw all three [sic] Iron Eagles and couldn't make it through Top Gun. I don't know. It's probably my knee-jerk reaction when people are all clamoring over something to go find the oddball version of it. Chappy Sinclair? I mean that movie was awesome.
I was the first member of the second Blockbuster, apparently. They had two test shops when they first were getting going. For the longest time I thought I was the first member of Blockbuster ever...I wouldn't be caught dead in one now.
I got into this business because I love huge action movies. And I don't want to exclude that from the fabric of my career if I can incorporate it in some way.
People think 'independent' means no interference. Not true. Unless you're paying for everything yourself, you're always subject to who's writing the checks.
I have a difficult time shooting in places that are not alive. I like the chaos and uncertainty of practical locations. Stages are boring and stuffy; it's like being on an airplane too long or in the pouch of a marsupial.
[on independent film-makers] Kevin Smith is the only one I don't like particularly. I respect most of them. He's the one I can't identify with in any way. He kind of created a Special Olympics for film. They just kind of lowered the standard.
When you have heartfelt filmmakers and really bold, strong actors that are willing to take creative risks and risk their reputation for the reinvention and the inspiration that these director are going to provide, it just makes you want to high five your buddy and say, 'Fuck yeah, let's get in the ring and get dirty.'
I'm a good multi-tasker. This year I've had a couple of movies and a few TV shows that I've been juggling and I also have scripts and projects outside of that and done some commercials. I keep real busy ... So yeah, I have a real fun life and I get to have a lot of adventures and I really look at this career as a passport to the world, so why not try and soak up every opportunity until they slam the door in my face?
You never want to do the same thing again, which is why it's hard for me to kind of find that linear connection even when I'm working in the same genre. They all feel very different to me. I literally don't have any sort of design. Some people I know have the theory of "Let's do one for them and one for me." I do them all for me. Sometimes they're commercial and sometimes they're not, and I try to keep afloat and have a career that people will support because you need people to write checks and finance the movies. That can be really difficult, particularly right now for someone like me to get money for a movie that's outside of a comedic wheelhouse, but that doesn't mean I don't make the compromises and the sacrifices to try to do it. All four of the movies I'm developing are not comedic, so we'll see which one really lands, if it's a horror movie or a drama or a documentary or whatever it is. It's certainly a niche I have to fill. I wake up every morning thinking of what I want to do and I'm just as moody as the next guy. I don't have the luxury of picking up a set of paints and painting a picture and being done in a day. It takes me a year or two, but I really do have kind of more of an immediate response rather than a bigger picture professional profile.
I'd really love to never do a movie for anyone else but myself. I just don't have time in life to do it; I'm too self-indulgent. People in my life who know me can always predict where I'm going to go next. And there's always a motive. Sometimes it's a passion that you want to roll up your sleeves and, do or die, we're going to make this movie my way or the highway. And sometimes you want to put your feet up and say, 'I want an appropriate budget and a great length of day and to work with my friends.' Any imaginable motive for making a movie is really what determines it.
[on problems he faces trying to get projects made] It's always financing problems. People want to make safe, boring zombie movies and vampire movies and comedies. Literally if I walk in the room with a really funny script or a zombie movie or aliens, they'll say, 'We want to see more of that, forget about those other things.'
[on what he has learned working on different types of films] Sometimes you love what you did but other people hate it, or vice versa. That's a conflict I have, not only with myself but with the audience: That the role you have as a filmmaker is [in part] communicating with an audience, trying to sell them on something that you're passionate about. I'm not a sort of psychiatrist or real commercial strategist or marketing head or anything, but it is a fascinating world to expose yourself to. My first four films cumulatively made under a million dollars. Pineapple Express, the midnight before it opened, made more than that. That's inspiring and depressing. On the one hand, you're like, 'Fantastic, I got a hit movie coming out.' And on the other hand you're like, 'But what about the ones I've slaved over, and poured my heart out to make, and nobody went to see?'
In a weird way, I usually cast comedic actors, even in dramatic films. The most dramatic movie I've made is probably Snow Angels (2007) and even in that I wanted capable comedic actors like Amy Sedaris, Griffin Dunne and Sam Rockwell. I can relate to people who are drawn to comedy, and I can work really well with them. Prince Avalanche (2013) was written and designed to be a movie that could cost as little as it could, and so that was part of the creative challenge but also part of the reward. There was nobody going to their trailer between setups, so we're sitting in chairs, cracking jokes. It was like summer camp.
The beauty of comedians is - and sometimes we accept it more than in others in terms of their career transitions - that there are these great notes of accessible emotions. Sometimes it's anger, sometimes it's sadness, and sometimes it's absurdity, these little moments of tenderness beyond just making us laugh. I like having an actor that's so comedically respected like Paul [Paul Rudd], and an actor that's so dramatically respected like Emile [Emile Hirsch], and then really throwing a curveball to the crowd in terms of who's doing what.