Screenwriters Billy Wilder and I.A. Diamond

Screenwriters Billy Wilder and I.A. Diamond

I ran into —

Joanne Lammers at Austin Film Festival. Joanne is a friend and really cool and is the Director of the Archive at Writer’s Guild of America.

I have known Joanne more years than I will say in public but to put it in perspective, one of those babies was a bump in a hot dress at a big awards ceremony when we first met.

Joanne was out at AFF with a really cool WGA exhibit featuring archives like Billy Wilder’s original scripts and the typewriter the original Psycho was written on. [That type writer weighs like a hundred pounds too so kiss your laptap and say "Thank you dear God, that I live in a time in which moving the writing machine does not include a hernia and blow up donut" --- also they didn't have blow up hernia donuts back then either, those poor bastards.]

 


One of the things Joanne said to me was how surprised she was a lot of exhibit guests [and people lined up around the block so I give credit for that, that is pretty cool, but still, there's a question here] and these exhibit guests are, you know, “writers”? How many of them looked at script pages in the presentation and and looked mystified and said, Wow I didn’t know they wrote what the characters were actually doing in the scenes.

This of course confused Joanne because she was wondering, Well what are these people writing or even doing at a writer’s conference if they don’t know that? And, haven’t they ever read a script before? Because all scripts — okay, all good scripts — do that.

 


People trying to write scripts who have never read scripts was not as much confusing or mystifying to me because even though it is totally confusing and mystifying that anyone would actually attempt to write a script without actually reading one? Ever?

[Isn't that like trying to write a symphony without learning how to read sheet music? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?]

 


I have been around on the internet long enough to know it happens. Over and over again. [I blame Final Draft! Anyone can write a movie! Just buy this software! Ahhh!] I also have seen the appalling statements online that go something like, “Oh I don’t write anything that characters do physically or that actually happens in scenes physically or describe any settings or action at all, the director will do that and I would be stepping on his toes if I put that in.

Really? Writing the movie would be “stepping on the director’s toes”? Because, you know, no movie? In the real world, no movie on the page usually spells, no director signs up to direct. But I digress. Bottom line —

You should wonder, if you aren’t writing action or setting descriptions or what characters are doing or, you know, a movie? What is the director actually supposed to sign on to direct?

 


I’ve never met a director who wanted to write the script for the writer since the writer didn’t actually write it. I meet a lot of directors who want to change the fuck out of an existing script. Just not so many who want to write the script that doesn’t exist.

 


Let’s ask a real question. In a poll. Yay!

How many film scripts have you read?

 

 

 

rulesEveryone in this country —

Wants to tell everyone else what to do. What god to worship, what person to marry, what food to eat, what drugs to take, what to drink, what to smoke, what to wear, what to drive, what gun to own, what books to read, what websites to visit, what movies to see, what television to watch, what radio to listen to — cripes, people. How about everyone just go worry about their own freaking god/marriage/food/drugs/drink/smoke/clothes/car/gun/books/internet/movies/television/radio and leave mine alone?

 


PS: While we are at it, what is the freaking story on 21 years of age drinking laws? If you are a “legal adult” at 18 and can get married, pay taxes, and pick up a gun and DIE for your country, you ought to be able to legally decide for yourself whether or not to drink an alcoholic beverage.

 

we have book

December 1, 2012

 

Trav_PBOOK006And the book is —

Shipping. Yay! The eBook for iPad and Nook shipped out today for all pre-orders. It will be a few days before it shows up on the Barnes & Noble and iBook sites — they are loading but there is an approval and waiting process so —

If you want the book right now, no waiting, go to the book’s website and order the book direct. And it will magically appear in your inbox before anyone else out there even has a clue. (You are so smart.)

The Kindle version of the book for Amazon is still in production, I am saying that will be coming out on or before December 15th, just to be safe. But if everything goes the way it is supposed to, that is actually shipping Tuesday. Again, it takes a few days for the book, once loaded on Amazon, to show up for sale on Amazon, but you can jump that fence by (tell me if you have heard this before) going to the book’s website and ordering the book direct. In which case, it will come to you in your email inbox. Yay!

There is no hard copy book. That is a 2013 project.

In the meantime, go get the book. Yay!

 

 

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