‘It is a film for the big screen’

Horizon: An American Saga is the latest in a long line of epics you have worked on over the years. Where do you find the inspiration?

I get inspired by art and by books. And of course, the camera was a thing back in the 1800s, so photographs really inspire me. This is an era that has fascinated me from when I was growing up and it still does. Horizon definitely draws on a lifetime of everything I have read and learned.

How important is it to you to have audiences experience Horizon on the big screen?

It’s important. The theatre experience is something I truly believe in, and Horizon is the kind of movie you want to see on a big screen.

You invested a lot of your own money in making this film. Why is that?

Because it was so hard to get people to believe in the movie that I wanted to make. I made this movie as much for myself as for the audiences. It was the same with Dances With Wolves, Field Of Dreams, Bull Durham and Open Range. I never think my movie is better than anybody else’s, but I also don’t think anybody else’s movie is better than mine. It’s just so happens that my movies are harder to make. My problem is that if I think something good, I have to do it anyway.

Horizon is set to be the first of a trilogy. When do you plan to release the next?

Well, we have filmed the second one, so that will follow soon. Right now, we are busy making the third. It’s a matter of money, but I am lucky to have acquired some things that are valuable. I am at a point where I don’t need four homes, so I am willing to take a risk to make my movies. Ideally, I want to leave those homes to my children, but they live their own lives. Hopefully, this will go well, and I won’t lose any homes, but it is a risk.

Speaking of your children, what was it like to have your 15-year-old son, Hayes, as one of your Horizon co-stars?

He had never acted before, but he did a good job. It’s a small part, but I was glad that he was able to follow the level of direction I was giving him. Hayes actually gets his name from my character in the trilogy. That’s how long I have been working on this project. It’s beautiful that he is here to help me tell it.

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