Mel Gibson: He's very focused on the take, and as such he's looking at the entire picture. He's kind of like a painter in that way.
Roland Emmerich: (of blowing up the White House in "Independence Day") We get a call from the White House to screen the movie there. And so we go there and show the movie to Clinton and his wife, and I'm sitting in the White House, seeing the White House explode. It's priceless. I mean, it was kind of the weirdest moment I've ever experienced in my life.
Dean Devlin: He's the last guy who wants to do the state of the art special effect, he always wants to go to an older technique, an easier technique, the tried and true technique. And it's really only when he can't find an older technique that works for the vision he wants, that he reluctantly is dragged into doing a state of the art special effect shot.
Dean Devlin: I think we both realized very early on that we shared a vision for a certain kind of movie. We found very quickly that we wrote well together because we saw the same things; we weren't fighting for different visions.
Jason Isaacs: He kind of inspires this quality, where you want to follow him by being an enabler. He's very generous, he wants everybody else to do well, he's very complimentary to everyone all the time, and thinks that he's lucky that people are working with him and doing what they do.
Mel Gibson: He is so laid back; he's not a screaming guy, he doesn't get mad or angry. He has a lot of self control to not become the slave of his own passions. He's a tough guy, he's a tough dude. I'm talking like, he doesn't eat, he doesn't sleep, he only smokes cigarettes. And when they drop the atomic bomb, and everything is wiped off the planet; there'll be rats, cockroaches, and Roland Emmerich there with his cap and a cigarette, all at the end of the day.
Although originally broadcast in 2001, the syndicated version aired on Reelz channel in 2006 includes footage from movies as late as 2004 and new interview clips from actors in these later films.
Special Thanks to Directors Guild of America, American Film Institute.
Clips & Stills Provided by
20th Century Fox, Carolco Pictures, Centropolis Entertainment, Fried Films, Independent Pictures, Le Studio Canal+, Live Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Mutual Film Company, Roland Emmerich, Tri-star Pictures.