Michael Keaton has likened directing and starring in the movie 'Knox Goes Away' to a cinematic game of Jenga.

The 72-year-old actor plays a dementia-afflicted assassin in the new film and enjoyed the challenge of having to juggle his responsibilities both in front of and behind the camera on the picture.

Michael told IndieWire's Filmmaker Toolkit podcast: "It was both daunting and intriguing. And challenging and exciting to see if (I) could pull it off.

"There was no sense of even starting it if one thing's out of place. If one thing doesn't work, the movie's not worth making. It's not the kind of thing where you can say, 'That storyline is not interesting, but we can cut it.' When you edited it, you didn't have that luxury."

Keaton's task was made even more challenging as he only had a 25-day window to shoot the film but he felt this had some benefits as it meant that valuable time wasn't squandered.

The 'Beetlejuice' star said: "There are a lot of pluses to directing yourself.

"You have a head start and a big advantage in terms of time – there's less discussion because you don't have to have the discussion with yourself.

"There's a lot of wasted time on movie sets, and the energy just gets bogged down. You've got to keep the pace up so people don't get bored."

Michael used his decades of working in the industry to create a positive atmosphere on set although he says it is not down to a meticulous plan.

He explained: "I don't consciously say, 'Hey gang, let's have a groovy time,' I just hope I set the right tone.

"The people who said this was hands down the best experience making a movie they've had... that makes me happier than almost anything."