Still my favorite interview with a screenwriter

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Still my favorite interview with a screenwriter

    Screenwriter / Producer Terry Rossio (Extreme Interview)

    Not sure how many people are familiar with or remember this one, but I re-read it every now and again and I don't think it's been bested. I believe this is circa 2009.

    What's your favorite screenwriter interview?

  • #2
    Re: Still my favorite interview with a screenwriter

    That's great. Thanks for posting it. Some damned useful methodologies for the story development process.

    Now that 'Batman v Superman' exists, this bit was oddly and inadvertently prophetic:
    "They are so afraid of heartfelt they take refuge in dim and bleak and ugly. You've never seen anything as funny as a producer wax all excited about how they're going to reinvent Superman, give him a costume of chain and black leather."
    Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
    "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Still my favorite interview with a screenwriter

      I thought there was a lot of insight in Rossio's take on the sort of binary nature of a concept's efficacy:

      This is a very hard concept to truly appreciate, but Hollywood is a place that grants huge rewards to the exact right thing and exerts disinterested punishment on great stuff that is even just the tiniest bit off, as well as all the bad stuff. It's a lot like writing a hit song; the difference between "she loves you, yeah yeah yeah,- versus "she loves you, ooh, ooh, ooh- (to steal a moment from Peggy Sue Got Married) is profound. One is not almost as good as the other, one works, the other doesn't.

      This idea is so hard to convey because it's so counter-intuitive. You think if you get something 90% right you should get 90% rewarded. It doesn't work like that. The world will give gobs of money to Star Wars to watch Luke Skywalker, but it might not have been interested in The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as Taken from the Journal of the Whills.

      In the end you have to come up with the one single exact thing, and it has to be one hundred percent exactly right. Sherlock Holmes. The Cat in the Hat. Mary Poppins. Napoleon Dynamite. In the final analysis, the only element that matters is coming up with the exact thing that can catch fire in the public consciousness. We are kin to the purveyors of the Pet Rock, The Macarena, Catch-22, and the Hula-Hoop. Pet dirt would not have worked. The thing is the thing and only the thing, and not some other thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Still my favorite interview with a screenwriter

        If you've seen Terry Rossio in person, he's very funny....very likeable.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Still my favorite interview with a screenwriter

          I am the purveyor of the [email protected] script

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Still my favorite interview with a screenwriter

            Originally posted by JasonH View Post
            I thought there was a lot of insight in Rossio's take on the sort of binary nature of a concept's efficacy:
            Yes, I largely agree with that in principle. But no-one knows an "exact thing" for certain until after it's done. And I suppose that's why so many already popular IPs are made into movies. Also, it appears that many '90%' movies actually do get made. (Maybe more often than not?)

            I especially agree with his job description: "I'll keep trying to invent pop culture"

            Screenwriting is a design process to assemble consumable products for pop culture. To that end 'concept is king' and it should be singular, iconic, and irresistible throughout. Well, at least that's my attitude to the first high-concept feature-length screenplay I'm writing ... erm, I mean designing and assembling.
            Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
            "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

            Comment

            Working...
            X