"I'd been a parent for about six years, thinking about making a film about childhood and being a parent. My storytelling instinct was going in this direction. I think having a kid, you have to think about childhood. You have to think about the psyche of that age. You can't help going through your own childhood," he says.
"But any script that starts in New York has got a head start," he said in 1999. "It's a fact the city can become anything you want it to be."