Archive for November 26th, 2013

November 26, 2013

Joe Eszterhas’s 10 Rules of Screenwriting

Joe Eszterhas was once the highest paid screenwriter in the business. Before turning to film, he was a senior editor at Rolling Stone. The rules below, which he recently shared with MovieMaker.com (a great site that you should absolutely check out), are… unique. Some of his rules you should take to heart. Some you should probably never follow.

As the saying goes when you take notes on your writing, find the note behind the note. In this case, find the advice behind the advice:

1. Don’t see too many new movies. Most movies in theaters today are awful. They will depress you. You will think to yourself: How can they have made this abominable script instead of buying and making mine? Spare yourself the anguish. Read a good book instead.

2. Don’t mince words. If the idea a studio executive gives you is a shitty one, don’t say “Well, that’s interesting, but…” Say “That’s a really shitty idea.” The people you’re dealing with aren’t stupid—they’re just vain. Deep in their hearts they know it’s a shitty idea.

3. Don’t let ’em convince you to change what you’ve written. A director isn’t a writer. Neither is a producer or a studio exec. You write for a living. You’re the pro. They’re amateurs. Dilettantes at best. Treat them that way. Make them feel that’s what they are.

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November 26, 2013

Quote of the Day: Richard Price

A movie is not a book. If the source material is a book, you cannot be too respectful of the book. All you owe to the book is the spirit. Everything else– just tear that motherfucker apart.