Max Landis is Killing It.

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  • #46
    Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

    Originally posted by Travis Fields View Post
    It looks more like "the kid was fortunate to get a ton of support and exposure to opportunity in LA at an early age so he got focused early on".
    That's one benefit many kids from filmmaking families get. But it merely helps them start earlier. A 5-year headstart is nice, but doesn't matter in the long run.

    Then again, there isn't any reason why non-Hollywood people couldn't start earlier. Many successful filmmakers with absolutely no film industry connections in their family, their friends, their hometown, etc, started making short movies when they were 10, and built up from that.

    Nearly all people complaining about their lack of connections haven't properly started even when they reach 25. And the kids who started 10-15 years earlier already have a lot of connections at 25.

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    • #47
      Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

      I just came back from AFF and sat in on a couple panels with Max Landis. The guy is a neon yellow frenetic ball of creativity and completely dedicated to what he does. My recollection is that his first sale was his 59th script and now he has written 73 (at age 27). He's sold a crazy amount of pitches within the last year and currently has 12 projects in active development. We were supposed to watch CHRONICLE with "script-to-screen" comments from him but instead he prowled the stage and riffed something like an improv comedy stand-up routine laced with industry nuggets for over 2 hours.

      CHRONICLE made 10 times its budget. His short, DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN, has had nearly 2 million YouTube views and has earned back 4 times its budget. A short that made money! He has a loyal fanbase in the Comic-Con world and he is putting together a track record that is getting him in the door and he has plenty of ideas and material to draw from once he's there. His pitches must be like no other, too. He told a story about how he ripped his shirt off in the last one. My impression is that he has designs on taking over the world.

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      • #48
        Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

        Originally posted by Bruce Rose View Post
        I just came back from AFF and sat in on a couple panels with Max Landis. The guy is a neon yellow frenetic ball of creativity and completely dedicated to what he does. My recollection is that his first sale was his 59th script and now he has written 73 (at age 27). He's sold a crazy amount of pitches within the last year and currently has 12 projects in active development. We were supposed to watch CHRONICLE with "script-to-screen" comments from him but instead he prowled the stage and riffed something like an improv comedy stand-up routine laced with industry nuggets for over 2 hours.

        CHRONICLE made 10 times its budget. His short, DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN, has had nearly 2 million YouTube views and has earned back 4 times its budget. A short that made money! He has a loyal fanbase in the Comic-Con world and he is putting together a track record that is getting him in the door and he has plenty of ideas and material to draw from once he's there. His pitches must be like no other, too. He told a story about how he ripped his shirt off in the last one. My impression is that he has designs on taking over the world.
        Oh man, didn't know he did DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN. That video is classic.

        Also, who else feels like a failure after reading that? I know it's about quality, not quantity, but I don't think I could match his dedication if I were given twice the time and an unlimited supply of adderall, cocaine, and redbull.
        Twitter: @jboffer

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        • #49
          Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

          Measuring yourself against someone else is a waste of energy.

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          • #50
            Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

            You got me. I am physically and mentally exhausted after all that measuring I just did.
            Twitter: @jboffer

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            • #51
              Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

              Originally posted by jboffer View Post
              You got me. I am physically and mentally exhausted after all that measuring I just did.
              . Not so much you. This whole thread.

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              • #52
                Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                Originally posted by figment
                How is it humanly possible to write 73 scripts by age 27? With beginnings, middles, and ends? And characters? And some sort of plot?
                Some of them might be just shorts. Landis wrote a lot of shorts for his fellow students in university. And some of the full length scripts are probably just clunky 1st drafts that he abandoned. Could be pure "vomit drafts".

                But he started writing at 16, so that averages about 6 scripts a year. Perfectly doable. He probably doesn't spend much time on screenwriting boards. Too busy writing.

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                • #53
                  Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                  Originally posted by figment
                  Six GOOD scripts a year probably isn't perfectly doable. But whatever. Compare that to the Scott Frank Bafta lecture from omovie's thread. Scott Frank says that the ten week time frame that studios often give writers for a movie isn't enough time:

                  http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...ad.php?t=69674

                  But I suppose that's what's great about screenwriting -- many different approaches. I'm more apt to be confident in someone with a more measured approach than a need to be a bad-a$$. But Max is selling things, so that's a good thing for him.
                  Who says that all the 73 scripts are good? Landis himself probably doesn't think so. And if 25 of those scripts are for short movies, then he has averaged only 4 full length screenplays per year. Perfectly doable.

                  Obviously he just works very hard. I wish I had 73 scripts written.

                  I would take a guess that his working method means usually just throwing himself into a story. Most of his full length scripts are probably 1st or 2nd drafts only. He probably works on subsequent drafts only if he really thinks the 1st draft is offering genuine movie potential.

                  You can easily work 6 scripts a year like that. A vomit draft can be written in a few days. If if shows genuine promise, you can start writing more drafts. I don't think Landis has ever said that each and every one of his 73 scripts went through several re-writes and polishes. They most likely didn't, if they are all full length feature screenplays.

                  That's a smart way to learn screenwriting. If you write 73 scripts, you are bound to get the shitty ones out of your system early on.

                  So many wannabe screenwriters these days obsess about pre-planning and calculating everything to extreme, and they forget about the part where they are supposed to just write the damn thing.

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                  • #54
                    Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                    It's easy if you get in and participate. If you find a job in the industry, whatever it is, there is always someone who knows someone who can read your script. The question is never if you get read or if you know someone, the question is how do you get to write a movie that gets made, and that is where, even with people with tons of credit, it becomes hilariously difficult, unless your connection is on a Tom Cruise level, and even then.
                    I know a guy who used to be a vp of a bona fide movie studio label, who had his own production deal, who knows people up the gazoo here and in New York, who still wasn't able to get a movie made by himself - forget now - not even 20 years ago, when it was way much easier.
                    So it's a combination of factors, and the struggle is hard, but getting your foot on the door? Not that hard.

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                    • #55
                      Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                      I give him credit for being a champion of screenwriters. He's very outspoken about their value.

                      I think screenwriters are worthless pieces of sh!t.

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                      • #56
                        Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                        Originally posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
                        I give him credit for being a champion of screenwriters. He's very outspoken about their value.

                        I think screenwriters are worthless pieces of sh!t.

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                        • #57
                          Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                          Originally posted by figment
                          You're missing my point.

                          It's probably just a the term "script". Perhaps Max uses that term very loosely.

                          I'm saying he didn't write 73 scripts. Scripts aren't a "vomit" draft. That might be the START of a script, but it isn't a real script. It's a vomit draft. It may turn into a real script later, after two or three more drafts, but it isn't yet. Also, scripts aren't an "idea" scribbled down that you'll get to later. Or spending two hours thinking up a cool concept. Or naming characters. Or jotting down 10 loglines. A "script" implies that it is finished. It's an entity of and to itself -- a finished, fully realized movie, that's probably gone through three or four drafts, and is chock full of interesting dialogue, characters, and plot. There's no way he's written 73 actual filmable scripts.

                          To say that you wish you'd written 73 scripts -- oh, my god, I have a headache. No, you really don't. Because they AREN'T scripts.

                          You don't have to take my word for it -- Mazin (in some thread, I can't find it now) stated that writing 3 scripts a year would be a pretty impressive run -- and even then you'd have a tough time trying to keep up that pace).
                          Frankly, I don't care if he calls a 1st draft or a 2nd draft a script or not. I'm perfectly fine with him calling it a script.

                          And again, in my understanding we don't know how many of those scripts might be short film scripts - But we do know that has written many shorts. Are those included in the list of 73? Who knows. Is the majority of those scripts short film scripts? I have no idea.

                          I'm not sure what your problem is. Landis is obviously working very hard. He obviously has written much more finished work than most people, at early age. The quality of his work is obviously good. His career is going great. His scripts are being turned into good movies.

                          I know for a fact, that I haven't written as much as Landis, and I'm not as good as he is. I wish I would have written as much as he has, and I were as good as he is.

                          It's worth noting, that once you have written 1st drafts for 73 scripts, you become pretty good at writing 1st drafts. You have worked that muscle so much, that your 1st drafts are much better than other people's 1st drafts.

                          Again, I think it's a smart way to learn screenwriting. It seems like Landis likes to write instead of merely planning to write. He got the bad scripts out of his system early on. He did his 10.000 hours and learnt the craft. Good for him.

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                          • #58
                            Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                            I agree with tuukka. The guy's a trooper -- a hard worker. Whether his 73 scripts are filmmable is beside the point.

                            I mean some people have been writing for over a decade and have about a dozen scripts under their belt. And yet NONE of them are filmmable. Does that suggest none of them are real scripts?

                            The time you spend on a script has nothing to do with quality, IMO. A writer spending 3 years loving and writing/rewriting a script isn't guaranteed to be better than a script that was powered out in a matter of weeks. For all we know, the writer that can't move on may actually be doing nothing more than polishing a turd. One thing we do know is that a script is NEVER finished.

                            I just know that for most writers their average work day is 90% procrastination. Perhaps rather than sitting and thinking about writing or rearranging his desk for the um-teenth time, Max actually got stuck in and wrote/rewrote things. I applaud him for having such strong work ethic at such a young age.

                            I know I wished I worked just as hard as he did in my earlier years instead of ranting about sh!t on forums -- a habit which I still can't break out of.
                            Last edited by Why One; 10-30-2012, 05:06 AM.

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                            • #59
                              Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                              Max Landis has his own process. I often hear someone writes fifteen scripts or more before they break. I've never heard 59. I don't know if shorts were included in the total script # he quotes but, regardless, he has written a ton of features. This is conjecture, but after hearing his story (he got into a bunch of trouble as a kid), I would guess many of his early scripts were creative & interesting ideas, executed in a disorganized way. When he was able to pull some left brained thinking into his work it became pro level and he started selling.

                              Someone asked him to demonstrate a pitch during one of the panels. He made up a pretty complex story on the spot and SOLD it to room full of strangers. He doesn't lack for ideas. It took him a decade of hard work to learn to deliver them to the page.

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                              • #60
                                Re: Max Landis is Killing It.

                                There are some undeniable strengths in Max Landis' writing career that we can probably incorporate into our own, such as being a work-aholic who writes tons. It would probably help most of us to be more focused and prolific.

                                There are aspects of Max Landis' career that can do absolutely nothing for other aspiring writers, such as him being born into a creative family with clout in Hollywood. So it's probably better to leave that aspect of his carer alone because there is nothing anyone can post that will undue his fortunate situation, nor create similar circumstances for anyone else but him.

                                Take what might help, leave the rest alone.

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