From American Cinematographer, A Transcendent Career Foretold by Bob Fisher (February '99)
Zsigmond spent four years at film school, putting in many 14-hour days and six-day weeks. While he deplored living under the tyranny of the communist government, he learned some great truths from the head of the department, György Illes, and other faculty members.
"They taught us that a movie is only art if it has something important to say. It should be more than entertainment. It should have social value...
...My rule is that if a movie doesn't say something of value for the audience, I don't think it's worth making. You only have time to make so many pictures in your life. Maybe 75 percent of the time, you can tell if a film will be worthwhile when you read the script, but I've been fooled on occasion. There were times when I thought something was going to be a good movie, but it didn't turn out that way. There are so many things that have to come together — the actors, the director, the script."
- Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC