Melissa Rosenberg - Interview with Q & A
Head Writer on Dexter, recently adapted "Twilight" for the big screen"
I should warn you in advance, I am attempting to to transcribe my cryptic notes from the conference, they might just be thoughts or bullets or my mind wandering. I doubt any of it will make a lot of sense to anyone who wasn't there. But I was there, and this is just me refreshing my own memory.
Talking about "Twilight"
Visual energy and cinematic pizazz
Book to movie adaptation to externalize her experience. Talks about how the author reinvents the mythology of vampires.
Watching a box set of a series (episodes back to back) is a great way to study the life of a series. Polly and I have done this with a couple of shows and I agree.
Sleep and exercise
Detailed outline - for feature films she works up a 25 page single spaced outline
Breaking in - Undergraduate Acting/Dance
Screenwriters get beat up a lot
USC Peter Stark Producing Program, AFI, UCLA Extension
Writer on "Magnificent 7" & "Party of 5"
Talent - Craft - Politics
Loyalty - Trust
Not just about telling the best story possible, also about making whoever is in charge feel safe
Dexter - Was shooting an episode in 9 days. They were coming in under budget and were switched to an 8 day shooting schedule. Her advice was not to come in under budget.
Voice over hardest to write - only way to get in Dexter's head.
What if. . . What if. . . What if. . .
Death is easy. . . Comedy is hard (ain't that the truth)
Never spec a show you want to work on
Don't be a second draft writer - stick to the detailed outline
Procedural not character driven?
Digging into the darkest part
Her experience as a choreographer helps with staging.
When writing a pilot • Premise plot vs. starting into the story 3rd episode
Pilot should be a typical episode, not a total set up
Tell a good story
Entertainment Industry recession proof? Used to be more true before the corporate conglomerate of the industry. Cut backs, trimming.
3rd & Fairfax WGA Library open to the public - go there and read scripts.
Nancy Meyers - Interview with Q & A
Writer/Director/Producer Story Editor/ Creative Exec
1st Screenplay "Private Benjamin" also wrote "Father of the Bride", "Baby Boom", "Irreconcilable Differences", "Something's Gotta Give" and more. . .
Doesn't write to the market
Very long outline (80 pages)
Try to make real and honest characters
Write what you know
Accelerate and intensify to make comedy; if it's too serious. . . it's Drama
Two things at once - tour of home while taking her clothes off.
Typeface, wardrobe, photos, Inspiration Board
Plays music all day long
Plays same piece of music over and over
Big premise needs jokes that support it
Movies hard to make (imagine that)
Can't be an accountant and a writer
TV writing is nothing like feature writing
very much a job. Sit at a desk all day long
Talent is all that people are interested in
Need detail and description for everyrthing
As a Director "Pace it up" pace is critical
Talent = "It" Do you have it?
Pitch - Say it quickly and say it well. Have them think what you're thinking
"What if" process - Can't judge while you're doing it
Must have tremendous determination
Grab'em, Hold on to them, Never let them go
Listens to music while writing
plays music on set to help actors feel the tone of the scene Sinatra, Gershwin
Aaron Sorkin interviews William Goldman with Q & A
William Goldman - "All The Presidents Men", "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid", "Chaplin", "The Great Waldo Pepper",
Taught at Princeton. Wrote "Adventures in the Screen Trade" (book). Passed on adapting "The Godfather" Went to Oberland College 1948 - 1952
Aaron Sorkin - "American President", "A few Good Men", "Good Will Hunting", "West Wing", "Charlie Wilson's War" (passed on adapting "Jurrasic Park" (doesn't write in the fantasy genera).
Tell a story
Blink - Nothing to something
There are no 2nd acts in American lives
Difference in "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid" Hero's run away and get killed at end
Sold script for 400K in 1967
Sorkin sold "A Few Good Men" for 200K in 1989
Legal nightmare in non fiction
Nobody knows anything
Do you think you can make it play?
You have to believe you can do it
Most writers think they suck
Turned down "The Graduate", "The Godfather" & "Superman"
Warren Beatty turned down the lead in "Superman" (put on the suit and said, no way)
Write where your passion is
That's all the notes I took for Day 4 of the expo
Great writers, great stories, great information. Lets see if I can put it all to good use and write some good stories!