Did you initially feel a resistance because you were a white male making a film about black culture?
I did, but I also think it was much worse in anticipation than when I actually got on with it.
That was partly because most of my white friends who lived in LA had never been to Compton or Watts, had never been to the black areas of the city, and they were completely paranoid about them.
When I said I was going to do this film, they immediately predicted hails of bullets going through my house and that I would be shot and somehow expose a lot of them to danger; that's the level of paranoia in America.
And when you actually get to Watts and Compton, you find that people are incredibly hospitable and flattered that you are interested in being there.
They couldn't be nicer to you and are much friendlier than anywhere else in LA.
There'd been so much hardship down there and so much brutality, and when people in those communities realize that you are serious and committed to your work they couldn't be more co=operative.
All those initial barriers go very, very quickly.