Words matter. These are the best Sam Esmail Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Growing up, my parents were very much about the Egyptian culture. They never really wanted to assimilate in American culture.
One of my favorite Tarantino films is ‘Jackie Brown,’ and ‘Jackie Brown’ does it so well, where I’m watching the back half of that movie, and I don’t know which side Jackie Brown is playing. I think it’s really ingenious for Tarantino to keep us in the dark on that.
I love voiceover. I never understood this idea that it was lazy. Well, yes, there are those movies or TV shows that use it as just a way to get out exposition. But you know what? That’s just bad writing.
I don’t mind Twitter. I think it’s a lot of nonsense, but at least, to me, Twitter is just more of a public forum to have conversation.
I’ve seen shows that start to go down the path of fan service, and it really diminishes the quality.
I’m controlling over anything I create. I’m very precious about it.
I’m not in the business of adapting things that are popular for the sake of just getting it on the screen. I think there has to be a vital reason.
People thought I looked weird, that I talked weird.
‘Taxi Driver’ is one of those films that is groundbreaking in how much you’re inside this character’s head. It uses voice-over in a revolutionary way where the audience is invited as a co-conspirator to the whole story line.
I went to NYU undergrad, then went to AFI for grad school.
I never look at twists as a way to trick the audience. Obviously, I think a good story has surprises and unexpected turns, and you always want to do that with an audience. But it has nothing to do with conning them or making them believe so strongly in one thing and then kind of going the other way.
You have to have that core creative team around you who’s going to support your vision, and challenge and evolve it.
Typically, whenever you’re envisioning how you’re going to shoot something, you have a location or a set that you’re going to build, and it’s going to be built to specifications.
I’m a huge fan of ‘The Watch,’ and I’ve also been on a few times. It’s Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan’s show on The Ringer. It’s just a great podcast about television.
You don’t even know if the person you’re communicating with online is actually that person. And your persona on your social media – your Facebook or Twitter – may not be the person you are in real life. So then, who is the real person? Is it somewhere in between?
I think there is more cohesion when you have one director on set.
The 2016 election, I’m sure, wasn’t the first one to be hacked; it was just the first one that was made public.
What resonates with me whenever I watch a great movie or TV show is the balance of inevitability and unpredictability. And it’s a very delicate balance.
I don’t cover my scenes. We approach it visually. Sometimes we go out of our way to do awkward blocking so that we can tell whatever the emotional heartbeat is of that scene in the most interesting way possible.
I’m not a fan of these very cutty, handheld-y kind of films or TV shows, where a cut is just every half second or every two seconds, where you’re desensitized to it. To me, a cut should say something and be impactful.
The story of ‘Mr. Robot’ is really about this guy who’s lonely – who’s alone and feels so disconnected from the world.
I don’t think it’s political to dislike Trump. I don’t think it’s controversial to say he’s a bad president. He’s clearly a bad president. He’s clearly not equipped to do the job.
The one thing that I know from the personal experiences that I’ve had with hackers and from people in tech who are brilliant at this thing, is there’s a lot of angst.
For shows that are hyper-serialized, it just seems to make more sense to follow a feature film model than follow a television model, which was set up more for a procedural type of show.
I had a funny last name, and I didn’t look like everybody else, and I got faced with a lot of racism.
I used to want to be a critic. I think it’s an awesome job. You get to watch all this stuff and then write about it and analyze it and give insight into it. That’s an amazing job. I was terrible at it, though.
I think people are more than their heritage or their skin colour or their name or how they grew up.
I love reading about other people’s world view.
With acting, a lot of it has to come from that real, honest place.
I did have friends who have suffered from schizophrenia and mild dissociative identity disorder, as well as more extreme cases of social anxiety disorder.
In a weird way, I never wanted – I don’t consider myself a very good writer. I consider myself okay; I don’t consider myself great. There’s Woody Allen and Aaron Sorkin. There’s Quentin Tarantino. I’m not ever gonna be on that level. But I do consider myself a good filmmaker.
With TV season structures – and I’m a huge TV watcher – you look at shows like ‘Breaking Bad,’ which is my favorite show of all time, and ‘The Sopranos,’ which is pretty high up there as well, and there was that thing where, every season, Walter White would go up a level, but there would be a new bad.
‘Fight Club’ is great in its spirit of anti-establishment.
Tone is very important to me.
I went to film school to direct.
It’s weird; my fascination with tech was kind of combined with the fact that my parents would never pay for anything. It got me more involved because I would have to find clever ways to get things for free.
I think I was told numerous times in the industry that nobody wants to watch a guy on a keyboard.
I never try and tune anything out. I think that’s a mistake. You want to bring all the honest stuff that’s going on inside you into your work. Otherwise, you’re keeping a lot of authenticity out.
When I first created the world of ‘Mr. Robot,’ I thought it would be a niche television series with a small, cult following.
I was a nerd, growing up, I was really into computers and technology, and most of my friends were basically in that world as well.
Music is everything to me. It’s the heart and soul of a movie or TV show to me because it can be such an injection of tone, and I think tone is everything to a story.
I’m Egyptian, and my parents stupidly decided to move us down to South Carolina when I was five, which was pretty brutal.
I’m not here to say that I want to change the TV industry.
That’s what I did growing up. Other than being on the computer, I was watching TV and movies. I make no apologies.
A lot of unexpected things do happen on ‘Mr. Robot.’
Do I want a character who just has the best motives and the best intentions, zero flaws, and is doing things for the right reasons? No!
Sound design is always critical, especially when you’re doing a thriller with a lot of suspense and tension.
The fact you can manipulate people because you can hack them and learn everything about their personal lives – that’s an immense amount of power.
I have tremendous social anxiety.
I think technology gives the illusion that you are connecting with people, social media particularly.
I used to hold Stanley Kubrick film festivals at my house in high school. These are not cool things.
When I started thinking about ‘Mr. Robot,’ I thought about it as a movie, and I thought about the complete arc, and that is the one story I’m going to tell.
I’m not saying I’m a control freak, though I’ll admit that I am at times.
Movies and television show build on top of each other, succeed one another. In a large way, in terms of filmmaking aesthetics, they evolve because they can’t help but be a consequence of all the movies and TV shows that came before it.
I remember growing up in suburban New Jersey, and all the computer stores were like, ‘Motherboard Mayhem’ and all these cheesy names.
It’s not necessarily bad that you have angst or you have anger – it’s what you do with it, how you interpret it into something profoundly moving.
Any time I approach a scene, it’s not just what’s on the page – it’s how the camera’s going to show or not show what’s on the page. It’s which character are we going to align with and what music is going to be playing.
I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or a conservative, the election of Trump is a national tragedy for multiple reasons. It will go down as one of the worst tragedies in American history. But he’s not a dictator. This happened because we either allowed it or voted for it.
I always thought the writing process for movies and TV shows was just a blueprint. The making of it was the thing.
I never let the technical stuff get in the way of the storytelling.
I rip off of every movie and TV show I’ve ever seen in my life.
‘Pi’ was one of my favorite films growing up because I thought it employed paranoia and voice-over, and also because it used this unreliable narrator in a very fascinating way.
I’m not a huge fan of very plotty shows. I’m much more of a fan of character-driven stories.
I use voiceover just like I use dialogue. There’s a way to give out information or give out insight to the character or give out their worldview, and maybe you have to slip in exposition, but it’s all about how you write it.
I took Pascal, and I was terrible. And then, when I went to NYU, I minored in computer science. I just couldn’t code. I just didn’t have the patience for it.