Archive for September, 2013

September 30, 2013

Frank Darabont on How to Succeed as a Screenwriter

Frank Darabont is the writer behind such films as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and the upcoming Godzilla movie. He also developed The Walking Dead, and he’s been working consistently in this industry for the last 25 years.

Mr. Darabont has shared his thoughts on how to succeed as a screenwriter (or in any capacity in film) in this short clip from Film School Comments.

September 30, 2013

Quote of the Day: Jack Kerouac

It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.

September 27, 2013

Barton Fink Script


They say writers should avoid writing about writing at all costs. But if you can’t help yourself, make sure it’s this good. The Barton Fink script was written by Joel and Ethan Coen.

September 27, 2013

Quote of the Day: William S. Burroughs

Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.

September 26, 2013

The Script You Can’t Not Write: An Interview with (500) Days Scribe Scott Neustadter

by Angela Guess

Running LA Screenwriter has its share of perks. Occasionally I get to read a new screenwriting book before it hits the presses. Sometimes I get free passes to events. But far and away the best perk of this job is the chance to interview screenwriters I admire.

Recently I reached out to Scott Neustadter (@iamthepuma) who, with his writing partner Michael Weber, is the screenwriter behind (500) Days of Summer and the new film The Spectacular Now. Scott and Michael also penned The Pink Panther 2 and the upcoming film The Fault in Our Stars, which is due out next year.

(500) Days of Summer is one of my personal favorite films, and The Spectacular Now (which is in theaters now — go see it!) is one of the most compelling and charming high school stories since The Breakfast Club, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when Scott kindly agreed to answer my questions.

In our interview, Scott discusses the challenges of turning a true story into a cinematic experience, how he and Michael sold their first script, and his search for the story he “can’t not write.”

LA Screenwriter (LA): (500) Days of Summer is famously based on one of your actual relationships. Can you talk a bit about walking the line of fact versus fiction when writing a true story? How do you balance realism against what will be most entertaining or cinematic?

Scott Neustadter (SN): The truth is that I didn’t really think ANY of it would be entertaining or cinematic. Not at first. Weber and I had wanted to write a relationship movie for a long time, we just didn’t have the relationship we wanted to write about. And then I had this real-life roller coaster ride which I thought was dramatic enough for a couple of emails to send friends, but certainly not for a movie. And then I got lucky and hit upon this conceit of telling the story in a crazy non-linear fashion, which created a level of suspense that would not have been there otherwise. From there it was about being as real and authentic as I could get away with, because the point of the story was a dissection and a deconstruction of a specific relationship, so the realer the better. 

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September 26, 2013

Quote of the Day: Ray Bradbury

Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.

September 25, 2013

Screenwriter Profile: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio

Terry+Rossio+World+Premiere+Walt+Disney+Pirates+cfb0Uk8MH_DlThe Writers:

Writing team Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio are the highest grossing screenwriters of all time. They’ve written a number of films for Disney including Shrek, Aladdin, and The Pirates of the Caribbean films. These guys are in their early fifties, and it looks like they have decades more of amazing stories in front of them.

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September 25, 2013

Quote of the Day: Henry David Thoreau

Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.

September 24, 2013

Shrek Script


Here is the script for Shrek written by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio based on the book by William Steig. Notice that it is labeled the “Twenty First Draft.” If you’re feeling less than motivated to carry on with your writing, read this and remember that even the greats rewrite like crazy.

September 24, 2013

Quote of the Day: Jim Tully

Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.