Studying hard and letting it go
Research is an amazing tapestry [...] but it should not be the one leading the game.
The tangled, neverending threads of research are alluring and important, says Cuarón, but they shouldn't take precedence over the emotional trajectory or meaning of a film.
There are two kinds of first drafts...
I believe that you write a screenplay in three weeks or thirty years.
Much to the dismay of listening screenwriters, Cuarón says that writing the first draft of Roma took him just three weeks! Some stories come out all in a rush, while others might need a lot more time to gestate.
Separating the writer from the director
I don't think technically when I'm writing. That's the joy of writing: you're not constrained by technique.
Cuarón puts his directing mind aside when writing, knowing that all those considerations will come into effect later once the screenplay is finished.