“When a big studio today has got their schedules laid out, and those people are called and everything, you go in there and shoot, regardless,” he said. “You can’t improvise, as we did then. Why, we’d change every other minute. We never knew what we were running into. When we ran into something good, we stuck with it. That’s the great handicap today: no flexibility. The minute you’re not flexible that way, the desire to originate and ad-lib is gone. You’ve lost that. You’re too damn mechanical.
Additional Interviews With Buster Keaton
Bruce Long of Arizona State provides a collection of six newspaper interviews conducted with Keaton between 1920 and 1923.
To learn more about Buster Keaton, read his profile on findingDulcinea.