Alba Disses Screenwriters (Classic Post)

Ardea alba

flickr: mikebaird

Jessica Alba apparently squawked for Elle Magazine, saying “good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.” She’s currently working with Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Harvey Keitel, Laura Dern, Blythe Danner and Barbara Streisand filming Little Folkers. Maybe they’re the good actors that “say whatever they want”? (The birds to the left are included because they are Ardea alba. They also say whatever they want.)

Category: News, People


IN DEFENSE OF COFFEE SHOPS (Classic Post)

I ran into a writer acquaintance today. We are not exactly friends, but we share mutual friends and run into each other every six months or so. He has written a number of successful movies for A-list stars and has assignments for the next several years already booked, so I always listen when he talks. This time, I ran into he, his wife and their little boy at a coffee shop in a part of town I do not usually frequent. He asked why I was there and, more importantly, where I usually have coffee. I told him about a little coffee shop by the beach. He asked more about it. “Does it have outside tables?” “What is the crowd like?” “Does it get the beach breeze?” I finally asked why he wanted to know. He said, “I’m always looking for a better place to write.”

I abandoned coffee shops several years ago, believing myself to be too professional. But this conversation served as a reality check. I used to get an incredible amount of highly focused work done in the coffee shops. In fact, thinking back, I believe it was easier to focus in those days than it is today in my current office, with the phone, the fax, the kid and all the other distractions of life all around. There’s something about the din of conversation that acts as a buffer between writing and the world. There’s also something about being alone in a crowd. And, there’s definitely something about having good coffee, bagels, muffins and, eventually, lunch, all handy just for the asking.

Maybe I’m not too good for the coffee shops. Maybe its time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Category: The Craft


Who Wrote The King’s Speech? (Classic Post)

King George VI

flikr|steve greer

The Jewish Journal has a fascinating article about screenwriter David Seidler, who escaped from Nazi’s, was almost torpedoed on his way to America, and grew up escaping into writing as a refuge from his own speech impediment, then later drew from these experiences to write the screenplay for The King’s Speech. It is worth a read.

Category: People, The Craft


SCREENWRITING NEWS (Classic Post)

Here’s something new for the Thinking Writer: new feature, new category. A survey of news of interest to screenwriters.

Scary Story For Screenwriters – before you decide never to circulate a script again, my opinion is, this is still the exception.

Fear Strikes Out – passing of a screenwriter. We are part of a tradition. It’s good to see who comes and goes.

Richard Walters – on why he loves America…. (Hint: it’s the screenwriters.)

Akiva Goldsman on DiVinci Code – about adapting novels.

Category: News