You want to do something that shows some type individuality and talent and imagination - at the same time, you want to be truthful to the predecessors, because obviously the audience liked something about them and you have to replicate that experience to a certain extent.
You just never give up, no matter how hard the challenges are, and observe this world with a healthy dose of criticism and don't just follow the herd like somebody else might do.
I was making films when I was about 12 years old - Super-8 films.
I feel like I learned very early on that your heroes are only as powerful as your villains. And I'm attracted to intelligent villains.
I went out to some advertising agencies and asked if I could do anything.
There were a lot of people dreaming about making films, and they would finance maybe 6 films a year. Because they were funded by the government, the films sort-of had to deal with serious social issues - and, as a result, nobody went to see those films.
Several times we were stranded in strange places without any money and with our credit cards cancelled - trapped in a hotel that we couldn't check out of because we had no money to check out.
I think that villains who are just brawn, muscles and weapons are boring. So I always try to find intelligence in my villains and also a sense of humor whenever that is possible.
In Finland, getting a university degree is the first thing that you expect your kids to do.
This was in '79. I got pretty restless there, sitting around with a lot of people sitting around smoking cigarettes and talking about films, but nobody really doing anything.
I loved cutting together simple commercials about margarine or soft drinks - all kinds of silly products - but I tried to make the commercials different.
I believe the important part of directing really is finding the right people for the right roles. Sometimes you go for what's expected, and sometimes you go against type because you think that'll really bring something different to the movie.
I did some film reviews for small papers in Finland and things like that to be able to keep living here.
I loved movies and went to see every movie I could in Finland.
I decided that, somehow, I had to get out of there and go to Hollywood. I had never been to America.
Just live in the moment and not be afraid to try things out and make mistakes.
Eventually, in '84, we made a film for a little over a million dollars - with American actors that was shot in English - that was shown in Finland A little action film called Born American.
I became a real Shell Motor Oil expert, and I did this 25-minute film. It turned out really well and, as a result, they offered me more work and lots of commercials to direct.
Ford Fairlane was one of those movies that was so much fun to make that it was bound not to be a big hit.
When I follow my heart, usually the results are good.
A government institution called the Finnish Film Foundation funds filmmaking there, and I wrote several screenplays but never got any money. They were sent back to me, and they said that they were too commercial for them.
It proved to be pretty impossible to get funds for a feature film in Finland. It's still small, but the film industry was miniscule at that point in the early '80s.
When I make decisions based on other circumstances, things don't necessarily go so well. So sometimes, even if something seems commercially tempting, I've learned that if it's not what's in your heart, it's probably not what you should do.
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