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I never learned to be a writer. I never took screenwriting courses. I never read anyone's scripts. As a writer, my only guiding principle has been to write about things that scare me, write about things that make me feel vulnerable, write about things that will expose my deepest fears, so that's how I write.
I've made up little mantras for myself, catchphrases from a screenwriting book that doesn't exist. One is 'Write the movie you'd pay to go see.' Another is 'Never let a character tell me something that the camera can show me.'
It's so fantastic to see redditors thriving because Reddit was able to be a part of their journey. Over the last decade, we've seen countless people improve their lives because of it - from quitting addiction to getting a Hollywood screenwriting deal - and I hope there will be many more talents who'll be discovered on our platform.
Screenwriting is the most prized of all the cinematic arts. Actually, it isn't, but it should be.
I've always been a writer, I've always been a storyteller, but I never thought about screenwriting.
Filmmaking is a very complex form - ya know, acting, lighting, screenwriting, storytelling, music, editing - all these things have to come together.
Screenwriting is like ironing. You move forward a little bit and go back and smooth things out.
Paul Thomas Anderson
The challenge of screenwriting is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement.
I think 'In The Heat Of The Night' was one of the most influential films on me. Looking back now, I can see how influential it was on my screenwriting because here you have what looks to be a crime procedural, and it's actually a study in race and loneliness, and a perception of an era.
I've never read a book or attended a class on screenwriting. I'm not opposed to the idea, but I like what I've got going on naturally and want to protect that. The one question I will ask myself as I'm re-reading a script for the 60th time is, 'Am I entertained? Still?' If the answer is 'yes,' I'll assume other people will be, too.
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I first came to cinema as a passionate filmgoer, when I was a child. Then, when I was a very young man, I became a film critic precisely because of my knowledge of cinema. I did better than others because of this. Then I moved on to screenwriting. I wrote a film with Sergio Leone, 'Once Upon a Time in the West.' And then I moved to directing.
I was a screenwriting major at Georgetown, and I was in class with some really strong writers like Jonathan Nolan, who co-wrote 'The Dark Knight' with Chris, his brother. He wrote 'The Prestige,' the story for 'Memento.'
I have struggles in screenwriting that lead me to a third act that's always more or less efficiently wrapped up in a fourth act that's trying to give closure to too many things.
For me, screenwriting is all about setting characters in motion and as a writer just chasing them. They should tell you what they'll do in any scene you put them in.
I don't miss directing at all, and I don't miss screenwriting either because somebody's always telling you to do something different.
I became a script writer with absolutely no idea of how to write a script whatsoever. I still feel a bit of an outsider in that regard. If I can maintain that approach to screenwriting, it can continue to be enjoyable.
'The Fourth Hand' was a novel that came from twenty years of screenwriting concurrently with whatever novel I'm writing.
People, certainly in the U.K., look down on screenwriting as an art form, but I love the discipline of it. Next to the bagginess of novel writing, it almost feels like a martial art.
Writing a whole series was a crash course in screenwriting, which is a very different muscle to standup comedy writing.
I think if I've worked anything through with screenwriting it's that I'm not going to be able to work anything through.
I don't think screenwriting is therapeutic. It's actually really, really hard for me. It's not an enjoyable process.
I've been doing a bit of screenwriting and producing, and even a bit of directing.
I majored in screenwriting and playwriting in school - and wanted to make films as a career. But when I directed my first short in college - which was called 'Extras' - I lost thousands of dollars and made an unsatisfying and incomplete film.
What I always studied in screenwriting from my mentor John Glavin was that the most interesting characters are characters with shades of gray.
I studied writing at university, and I actually majored in screenwriting. Then I went to work as a bookseller and then as a sales rep and publicist and then various editorial jobs until I ended up with HarperCollins in Australia.
I was about 14 when I started with a theater group; it was like a stage group on the weekends alongside school. And it was run by a group of guys who'd been to drama school themselves in London. So they introduced us to techniques that they'd learn about, and they kind of informed us about improvisation and screenwriting and all of that stuff.
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