Since his The Shape of Water won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in early September to begin its awards-season runGuillermo del Toro has only added to the Oscar heat behind the film. It led all Critics’ Choice Awards nominees with 14, and this week nabbed seven noms at the Golden Globes including writing, producing and directing nods for del Toro personally. He stopped by the studio recently for a segment of my new Deadline video series Behind The Lens, which explores the work and lives of our greatest contemporary filmmakers.

Behind The Lens

In our wide-ranging dissection of his career, del Toro proves he is a master of the medium as he talks about how his 25-year span making movies has led to Shape of Water — his favorite. He talks about the 10 movies he has made, and why he only ranks five of them in order of his own preference. He reveals the budget, his salary and the themes of his films; his love for monsters (though not necessarily labeling his films as horror movies); how Pacific Rim was unfairly caught up in a dysfunctional studio battle; the beauty of Fox Searchlight, the only studio to instantly greenlight Shape of Water.

He also discusses his unique friendship and partnership with Alejandro G. Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron, as well as his dream of making a $45 million film about Pinocchio set against the rise of Mussolini(!). Del Tor says he intends to take a year off from directing to continue to promote The Shape of Water, but at the same time will be producing three series for Netflix and two movies for Fox — a busy and brilliant man.

Check out our conversation above.