Richard's Open Road
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You feel like you're ready, but the world's telling you, 'No, you're not.' Had I felt I needed pats on the back, I wouldn't have got very far.
- He never had any doubts in his technical movie-making skills, but he had trouble getting over his shyness.
- From a young age, he was good at writing and he won playwriting contests, but everyone told him there was no market for his writing.
- Says that whenever he told people he wanted to go into the arts, no one took him seriously; they thought it was a "cute" idea.
- He took a job as an offshore oil rigger; upon returning to his hometown, he lived on his savings and devoted his life to reading and watching film.
- Everyone told him he needed a "serious" degree in medicine or law to fall back on, but he devoted himself to his independent, "monkish" film studies.
- He realized that if thought he was supposed to be a doctor or a lawyer, he needed to do a 180-degree turn and run the opposite way.
- When he eventually got the courage to start making films, it took a few tries before he found success; he stresses that early failure is common in the arts.
- His breakout film, Slacker, was a favorite at the Sundance Film Festival; since then, he's made hits like Dazed and Confused and School of Rock.