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10 Things You Never Knew About Your Favorite Directors

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1. Christopher Nolan frequently films with false titles inspired by his kids. For example, Inception was filmed as Oliver's Arrow and Interstellar went into production as Flora's Letter.

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The family links go deeper, though: His wife has produced 10 of his movies under their Syncopy production company, his brother has written or co-written five, his sons Magnus and Rory have appeared in one each, and he's directed his uncle in three.

2. Sydney Pollack got his start as a television actor, but would later go on to have his greatest success when directing Robert Redford in multiple movies.

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He met and befriended Redford on the set of War Hunt, Pollack’s big-screen acting debut.

3. Kathryn Bigelow's The Loveless is part of the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection, though the museum also hosted an exhibition and screenings of her work in 2011.

Jonathan Olley / ©Summit Entertainment / Everett Collection

She also counted Andy Warhol as a friend.

4. Martin Scorsese’s passion as an altar boy at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral led to joining the seminary at 14 — until a year later when he realized he loved women and rock ’n’ roll.

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His films Who's That Knocking at My Door and Mean Streets even include scenes at St. Pat's.

5. Oliver Stone turned down an offer from the CIA to continue serving with the Army's 1st Calvary Division in Vietnam.

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The experience resulted in a trilogy of Vietnam films (Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, and Heaven & Earth) and would've led to another if it weren't for the Writer's Strike of 2007.

6. Stanley Kubrick was a noted recluse and spent most of his time watching film and TV — some of his favorites included The Godfather, The Jerk, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and Roseanne.

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However, he also never watched his own work, even ending friendships (like the healthy one he'd had with Malcolm McDowell during A Clockwork Orange production) as soon as filming wrapped.

7. Working on Doctor Who for the BBC led Ridley Scott to give up on science fiction until he saw Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.

© Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

Between those two events he founded the Ridley Scott Associates advertising firm, though the next three films he directed after regaining his faith in science fiction were Alien, Blade Runner, and the legendary Apple commercial "1984."

8. Spike Lee's signature move is called the double dolly, where both the camera and actor move forward on tracks.

© Columbia / Everett Collection

The camera continues zooming though the actor remains in focus while appearing to float and rush forward — it's an escalation of the Hitchcock zoom, where only the camera zooms from its speeding dolly.

9. Steven Spielberg was turned down by the USC School of Cinematic Arts twice, but now serves on its Board of Councilors.

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Jaws is simultaneously credited for inventing the summer blockbuster and repopularizing the Hitchcock zoom.

10. And speaking of Hitchcock, he refused to meet Spielberg on the grounds that Spielberg made him uncomfortable because he felt used by Universal Studios for voicing the Jaws ride.

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It's likely untrue, particularly since Hitchcock was also famous for on-set tomfoolery like finding out an actor's phobia and sending them a box full of it (say, spiders or mice) and throwing tea cups whenever he finished drinking.

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