(light pop music) - I like credits.
They promise something, like posters, they promise something, you know.
Because, for me, credit sequences are sometimes more important than the movie, I don't know, because they present the picture a certain way.
I tend to get impatient with the title sequences that are unimaginative... that are just showing up with shots of people driving, going in their house and...
I think in that case, don't do that.
In that case, put white on black, put some music over it, and it's even nicer.
It's much more honest about it.
Then get the story started because you're wasting story time.
- The thing that I heard about was sketch drawings that you did when you were a kid.
- [Martin] Oh yes, yeah.
I was eight, eight or nine.
And I started playing around with frames, and the frames for me were moving frames, although, because it was still, you know, but they were moving in my mind because then the next image would be this, the next image would be that.
I did a lot of them and I threw a lot of them away.
Then when I was about eleven or twelve, I think I started earnestly in a bigger way.
I was fascinated by the biblical spectacles, or the spectacles of an ancient world.
I was framing, especially learning how to use the wide frame, then I would do some in one, three, three.
I would do others normal-- - [T.J.] So you were storyboarding?
- [Martin] Storyboarding, yeah.
I didn't realize what it was, but...
They were movies to me.
They weren't comic books, they weren't movies, but they were something in between.
- Westerns were your favorite movies.
- Yeah, I liked westerns a lot.
I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was here in the city, and loved the idea of horses and loved the idea of open spaces, to which I would probably never get to see.
Although I was not physically made for that sort of thing, to live that way, I had I guess certain dreams about it.
- [T.J.] What would a Martin Scorsese western be like now?
- [Martin] I, I don't know.
There are possibilities.
I would love to, maybe, try something on mythic scale again about West rather than ultra realistic.
Something, rather than revisionist, I would like to try to see what made some of these people tick and a sense of honor and some sort of a code.
Because being there, part of the frontier, dealing with death and life every second, it makes a person act in a certain way.
Some personalities came out of the West.
I'm interested in those personalities.
(dramatic music) - [T.J.] When were you in the seminary, what year?
- Oh, just when I was about fourteen.
Just a preparatory seminary.
One doesn't realize, you know, one doesn't need to become a priest or doesn't need to have a third or fourth person to be able to talk to God.
If you want to talk to him, direct communication.
Making of the first short films that I did at NYU, that's when I decided that I would probably fare better in what I wanted to do making movies.
I didn't set out specifically and say, "Well, I can put whatever emotions or passions "I had for the priesthood into filmmaking."
- How did your parents react when you first started making movies and you finished completed projects, the early projects, Boxcar Bertha, Mean Streets?
- [Martin] Mean Streets was, it was, you know, an ordeal.
My father saw it the night at the New York Film Festival and his first reaction was never again.
Of course, he had the same anxiety I had sitting through it, are they're going to laugh here, are they going to be nervous here, are they going to boo this, are they going to be against that?
- [T.J.] Did they react in any way to how violent and rugged and, in many ways, unconventional those films were?
- [Martin] Well, my mother was concerned that that night, for example, the New York Film Festival when she came out, somebody said, "Oh, that's your son's film."
She said, "I just want you to understand, "we never use that language at home.
"We never use that language at home."
Which is true, we never did in the home.
It was never used.
But in the street, that language was used.
That was it.
(light pop music) The two elements I like best about movies are the sense of motion and performance.
I love the way the camera moves, I love the cut from one moving shot to the next, or a cut from a moving shot to a static shot.
The light comes second to me.
I don't say it's not important, but, usually, the inspiration is always the point of view of the lens.
Sometimes when it all comes together on the set, and especially when it comes together in the cutting room, at a certain point you can actually feel it go through you, your body, it's a part of you.
It's like it just seeps out of your body.
You become, you become the film you're making.
(light pop music) - [T.J.] Why, every time, when I pick up an interview with an actor, and they all say, young and old, "I would love to make a movie with Scorsese."
What, what do you think, what do you-- - [Martin] (chuckling) This is crazy.
- [T.J.] What do you think it is-- - [Martin] that they're talking about?
I don't know.
- [T.J.] And it's true, it's true, right?
- [Martin] Okay, I've seen a few, but they haven't worked with me, how do they know?
Maybe it gets to a point where they think I'm very, very good with actors, so they come in and they do their best without me asking.
I think what I try to do is create an atmosphere in which they can try anything.
As long as we're talking about the same movie and the same scene, we'll be okay.
I cover a certain way with camera, I do certain things in cutting, I try to have an actor come out as best as possible.
(light pop music) Subtitles by the Amara.org community