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Guillermo del Toro: 'It is the director's duty to always exceed the budget'

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro has offered an insight into his mindset when he is tasked with completing his projects within financial budgets.

Del Toro’s career has seen him work on a wide-ranging scale of budgets from the $200 million at his disposal for Pacific Rim, to the $20 million he spent on Academy acclaimed film The Shape of Water.

When sitting own with Alec Baldwin as part of the Tribeca Film Festival’s Director Series, De Toro said: “As a director, it is your duty to always responsibly exceed the scope and exceed the budget.”

He added: “If you have enough time and enough money, you’re fucking up.”

“To direct is a hostage negotiation with reality,” del Toro continued. “The day I go out and say, ‘I have an extra day,’ something’s wrong,” he said. “You have to not have enough. I think that real art and real freedom exists under the boundaries. Because it’s not boundaries, it’s structure.”

Offering an example as when this situation has affected him in the past, Del Toro explained: “I remember on the first Hellboy, they came in and they said, ‘You have to cut seven million,’” he said before adding, “and I said, ‘OK, I’ll add an action scene’…and we still ended up under budget.”