It's always the small people who change things. It's never the politicians or the big guys. I mean, who pulled down the Berlin wall? It was all the people in the streets. The specialists didn't have a clue the day before.— Luc Besson
The most breathtaking Luc Besson quotes to get the best of your day
Live your life, experience something, and then you're going to have a lot of things to say. But if you hang around in Hollywood, then you're going to say the same thing as everyone else - nothing.
Cinema never saved anyone's life, it is not a medicine that will save anyone's life. It is only an aspirin.
I did The Fifth Element and [Jean-Claude] Mezieres, the artist of Valerian;
he was working on Fifth Element. And he's actually the one who say, why don't you do Valerian? And I said because we can't make it. And you really have to wait for Avatar and to suddenly think oh okay, maybe we can think of it. But before Avatar, just forget it.
I wanted to prove that I could do something, so I made a short film.
That was in fact my main concern, to be able to show that I could do one.
We talked a lot with the musician. And for now there are few options, and I give him few weeks to come and surprise me with something. I don't want to start and say, okay here is what I want. Because maybe he has an idea that is better than mine.
That's the storyboard that we have in the beginning [of Valerian].
It's an easy shot. It's just a spaceship coming in. That's the first layout. On the first layout, we see the timing of the shot and the speed. It starts to get some shadows, and we see that everything is moving in the back.
We were so ready [with Valerian] that we were early, which is unheard of in the history of the sci-fi film.
I don't want to show kids that I am smoking.
You know, money will never save anyone.
Compassion can save someone, love can save someone, money will never save anyone. And as long as the entire society will put money first... Money should be like third or fourth or fifth, I'm not saying lets get rid of money, but how can we put money as number one? As the only value, like if you are rich, you're famous you go VIP, why? It's just insane, the way we've transformed the society.
When I got the camera on the shoulder, they give me a nickname.
They call me 'the tripod' because I'm kind of short and kind of strong. So if I take the camera and I lock myself, you think that you're on a crane.
I'm a big Star Wars fan.
If you're someone from the government and you meet people from other countries, you want to know who you're dealing with. It's the same for them [in Valerian].
I think we have the wrong notion of commercial and intellectual or artistic film. Because all films are commercial.
I won't be able to do a film just for bad reasons, for money or for - I just can't. If I have one more where I feel I can bring you something, I will do it.
Loving a film is like falling in love with a woman or with a man like you never expect it. It it's not the one you think you will be in love with, you know. You think always that he will be with a beard, and black, and big and finally he's Chinese and you know it's the same thing. There's something very organic about the film and if you forgot it, if you don't have this seed in it...this organic flavor in it the film doesn't work it's wrong.
I would rather stop [making movies] too soon than too late.
I saw Cara Delevingne like five, six times.
And I was never talking about the film [Valerian]. And then at the end, I say okay, let's do some test. She says yeah, yeah, good. So I took her in the room, and I test her for like six hours non-stop. Exercise, exercise, exercise for six hours. It was actually funny. And then I knew at the end of the six hours.
I was kind of surprised that, about 99 percent of the people grabbed the thing [in Valerian].You know it's their thing. And I'm very impressed by that.
That's a KORTAN DAHUK. That's the first alien we see in the film [Valerian]. That's another artist. The first one was Chinese, the one with the space station. This one is American. Personally, that's my favorite alien. I love him. I love his profile and his face. There is such a sweetness and almost a sadness in his face.
I wrote the entire history of Alpha because the space station was around for 500 years. I have 30 pages on the history of Alpha. Every ten years what happens. They took control and what happened. Every 80 years, they have to change the communication system because it doesn't work anymore. Some aliens come with new technology, and suddenly you can change the electric system. We wrote the entire story [for Valerian]
What a director is looking for is someone who will follow you and no matter what. And if you ask for blue, he's gonna try blue. And if you say, give me a piece of red with it, and they try. And you don't mind so much if it's difficult to get the blue and the red together. As long as they try. And as long as they give everything they can to give you what you want. That's what I'm looking for.
Be humble and say okay, all right, I have to prep myself.
So everybody prepped, and we finished the film [Valerian ] four days before the end.
For example, in your house, you have the heater on the ground itself.
Here, it's the gravity. No matter where you are, that's where the gravity is coming from. It's almost like a carpet that you put down. If you're on the other side, it doesn't matter to us because we're still walking on the ground. Actually, at the beginning of the film [Valerian], we see when they install the gravity system.
After six, seven films, I started to get a little tired. Shooting takes a lot out of you.
Cara [Delevingne] I wanted to be sure that she would be involved.
'Cause she didn't do a lot of films before I met her, so I didn't know if she was serious and so I push her a bit.
My biggest surprise is probably the level of involvement of all the artists [in Valerian] who participated at every level.
When Cara [Delevingne] and Dane [DeHaan] arrived, I told their agent, "They need to know all this." I gave them the 600 pages. I said, "You have to learn everything. You're a cop. You need to know the names." I don't want him, when he meets an alien to go, "Whoa" like this. I want him to know if this guy is peaceful.
I wanted to do something that was entertaining - but with a catch.
I said if I made 10 films in my life, I would be very lucky.
That's how I meant it. My fear after my first one was whether they would let me make another one, so I had this goal in my head.
I think it's the society that drains us out, and we are in a society where we are driven by money.
We have [in Valerian] a bible that's 600 pages.
There are five pages on each alien and where they come from. Even the address you can check on the map. On the star map. It's real numbers.
I try to follow my instinct as a moviegoer and I do the thing I would love to see it at a movie. I'm like everyone, almost, I go to a movie once a week. I like every kind of film if it’s well made. I’m fine. I’m not a specialist fighting for a genre of film. You just have to follow your instinct.
I never think about franchises, to be honest. I always just do the film.
I'm always attracted by people who are lost in their time. I think it helps us.
I have like 10 actors and 100 aliens in the film [Valerian].
And they come from the four corners of the universe. Some of them are liquid. Some of them are just [so visually] crazy.
If we wanted to make it the way I imagined I knew that we would have to wake up earlier and start very early. So we prep like crazy. And the competition you have is like Avatar, you have Star Wars, you have all the big Marvel stuff. So if you want to come in the race, you know, don't be pretentious.
Sometimes I see people finish a film and they go, "Yeah, that was good. Where are we going to eat?"
You know sometimes you're in a position of risk and you feel that you can turn good or bad.
My concern 99% is about the storytelling, the emotion and all this.
I never think about the format of anything until way far in the process and when we arrive to the fabrication of the thing then we start to say, "Okay right, what is the best thing we can do." I choose the car before to choose the color.