Nicolas Winding Refn is a Danish film director, screenwriter and producer. He is known for directing the crime dramas Bleeder and the Pusher films, the fictionalised biographical film Bronson, the dramatic adventure film Valhalla Rising, the neo-noir crime film Drive and the thriller Only God Forgives.
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Hi Reddit, it's Nicolas Winding Refn here, ready for you to Ask Me Anything! Six years ago I was in LA making DRIVE and last year I returned for part two of my LA odyssey, THE NEON DEMON starring Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, and Bella Heathcote. The Neon Demon is available on Blu-ray and digital today!
PS: I heard they need a proof photo, it's me! http://i.imgur.com/FyqRvGm.jpg
It was great chatting with you all today! Make sure to get your copy of The Neon Demon available now!
Are you food or are you sex?
You'd have to ask my wife. ;)
Hi Nicolas! Huge fan of your work, and The Neon Demon has been my favorite movie released this year.
My TND-related question is, what were your main influences when making the visuals of the film?
I don't thing there was a main influence, I don't story board, I mostly base everything on what I would like to see.
Nick, if you could choose any actor, who would play you in the inevitable biopic?
Ryan Gosling of course!
What was it like working with Keanu Reeves?
Keanu was the first movie star that I associated with out here in LA, the first film I was going to do was with him but unfortunately the film ended up falling through, so working with him now is great. He is amazing and unique!
Do you prefer to give simple direction or go into more detail with the actors/ crew members?
Depends on what you are doing, sometimes you need to be very specific and sometimes you need to be very loose and just see what happens.
Hello Mr. Refn.
Have you ever been interested in writing a Children's Picture, be it for children or starring children?
With having children of my own, I would love to do an animated film, finally something of mine that my kids could watch!
Mr. Refn, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon sit among my favorite films of the 21st century; thank you so much for your contributions. I cannot wait for your next project!
In your opinion, what is the biggest issue facing the film industry today?
I think the biggest issue is accepting that the digital revolution is changing, not the creative, but business model of entertainment and the challenge is leaving behind what we used to do compare to what we are going to do in the future.
Out of all the movies you directed, which one feels the most personal?
It's hard to say which one is the most personal, all are about my own fantasies one way or another. ;)
How much involved were you in the soundtrack to drive ? And do you enjoy listening to that type outside of the movie ?
Very much so! I chose the songs and chose the composer (Cliff Martinez) and collaborated with him on how I wanted the film to sound.
Would you ever do another horror film?
I don't know, I haven't decided yet. Maybe?
Hi Mr. Winding-Refn!
Can I ask, do you have any advice on set control?
My advice: dominate with love.
What drew you into doing The Neon Demon? Directing the film, not having relations with a chemical entity. :~P
I woke up one morning and decided that I wanted too do a film about beauty and thought it could be interesting to do one incorporating horror, melodrama, comedy and sci-fi.
Hi Mr. Refn, huge fan! Would you say there is a connection between any of your films?
I'm sure there are many connections, but it's hard to define one. I will leave that up to the experts to to figure them out.
What is your favorite snack?
I have two! Topo Chico sparkling water from Mexico and organic rice cakes with chocolate on them!
The Neon Demon was my favorite film of the year so far, a film which I found to be visually bewitching, brave and fascinating. What I'd like to ask is what films inspired you throughout the process of making the film?
It wasn't so much movies that inspired me but the music. A movie I did think about from time to time was Night Tide; it's from the early 60's. It's a film that I love so much that I bought the original negative for my private collection.
Do you like to create other forms of art, like music or painting? Just wondering.
I very much like creativity, but I don't paint or make music. Maybe one day, who knows?
After seeing Neon Demon I've been trying to watch all of your movies from Pusher to your newer ones. I was wondering, out of all the movies you made, which one is your favorite? Which one is your least favorite?
I think my favorite has yet to be made.
Hello Mr. Refn! I was a big fan of Drive. As a film student veered more towards writing, what advice would you have for young writers looking to break into directing?
One of the benefits of the technical revolution is that there's no obstacles you just have to do it! Films all start with a script, the best thing to do is start writing!
The Neon Demon haunted me weeks after I saw it, it still does now! I'm curious- what movie did you see that blew you away recently?
With having a family and working all the time, it does not leave a lot of time to see as many movies as i'd like, if there you have recommendations out there, let me know!
What is it like directing TV compared to film?
I've never directed TV before, but i'm sure it's very similar. Directing is all about good story telling.
I heard the writing on Drive was very collaborative, would you recommend this to more directors or does it more fit your style?
My version of Drive was a wonderful collaboration with Hossein Amini. I was also very fortune to have a great book to work with as well but I think in the end someone has to make the decision and that must always be the director. However, it is very important to collaborate, especially in this industry.
What is your approach to writing a screenplay? Do you outline beforehand? Are there any specific tips you've found are useful to you in getting your ideas down on paper?
I start all my movies by writing ideas on index cards and then when I have enough ideas, I start to construct a story.
Mr. Refn, can you just tell one of your favorite films from the 21th Century?
A film that made a very big impression on me was Pretty Woman. I went to see it in the cinemas two times!
Mr. Refn; Is it true you're thinking of making a Superhero movie? If so, would it be with DC or Marvel?
I love watching superhero movies, in a way you can say Drive is one. So I don't think I would want to make another, Drive is my version of a superhero movie.
Magic Magic is a pretty great film.
I love Channing Tatum.