Creativity is a mansion. If you're empty in one room, all you have to do is go out into the hallway and enter another room that's full.
No matter where you came from, you can be inspired.
When you start directing movies at the age of 24, you're just a kid; you don't necessarily even have the experiences to add to the story. You're working off of instinct and raw emotions and raw talent, and hopefully it's the same trajectory as growing as a person.
I don't have a typical filmmaker background. I didn't grow up with a super eight camera or a video camera. I didn't start cutting movies when I was four or five.
I actually didn't really start to get into the research of film until I was much older. I decided I wanted to direct a lot earlier than I started to do the research, which is really strange, but it is the case.
I remember where I was when I first heard 'Boyz N The Hood' - 126th Street and Normandy, South Central, Los Angeles. I remember that I was on my porch. What they described in that song was so vivid and so clear to me because it was the kind of life I was used to witnessing and partly experiencing in my neighborhood.
I knew that in Hollywood they tend to pigeonhole talent, and when you experience a little success in one genre, their instinct is to keep you in that box.
I was a little hesitant at first because there's so many ways you can get 'Straight Outta Compton' wrong. You know, it's such a great story; it's such a classic tale. I was a little nervous 'cause it's like a very narrow road to success with that type of story - you got to get it right - but when I read it, I was pleasantly surprised.
I love a challenge. So when I did 'Friday,' I didn't want to do another comedy back-to-back. With 'Set It Off,' that was a little different from 'The Negotiator' and 'The Italian Job.' So for me, it's all about challenge. It's all about challenge and about just learning.