February 24

Site Credits

Header photo by Vicki Gregories Flikr @ flckr.org.

Jon Deer is the Thinking Writer.

WHAT DOES THE THINKING WRITER KNOW ABOUT SCREENWRITING?

Maybe nothing, but here’s why I put The Thinking Writer up on the web beginning in 2001 and keep it here today. I’ve worked in the industry for twelve years, starting as a runner for a producer on the Fox lot, up to studio mailroom jockey, to reader for two motion picture companies (New Line Cinema and Turner Pictures), to Director of Film Operations for an entertainment interest of The Trump Organization, to producer for a small but well funded development company. During my work, I’ve read thousands of produced and unproduced scripts. I’ve developed pitches and scripts with working writers (even one academy award winning writer), and I’ve given some now working writers their first break. During my work, I’ve been on hundreds of film sets and watched first hand what leading actors and directors do with words on a page. It is impressive and scary and incredibly valuable at the same time.

Somewhere along the line, I developed a deep and abiding respect for writers, for the tremendous challenge of writing a quality screenplay, and for what the writer brings to the table. Desiring no less noble work for myself, I began to write screenplays. I picked up a terrific writing partner. Our first serious script landed us representation with the leading agency in town (town being Los Angeles) and a terrific manager. We’ve been writing ever since. I care a great deal about the art and craft of screenwriting. I’ve developed some very specific ideas about how drama works, what makes a good story, how to build a proper scene, and generally how to write a decent script.

On the other hand, nothing is produced yet and no big splashy spec sales. I’ve settled instead for developing projects with some solid producers and watching them move slowly (or not at all) through the painful development process. If you want the view from the top, go to someone else’s blog. There are a few terrific ones out there. (See my blogroll on the sidebar.) If you want the view from the middle, this is the place.

On this blog, you can hear my thoughts and that of others on all your writing questions. I’m also an entertainment lawyer (on occasion) so I’ll be happy to answer general legal questions about screenwriting. The answers to these questions are not specific legal advice, just thoughts on a weblog.

So ask your questions, read my answers and other thoughts, and see if it’s worth the view. If you care about writing something that’s really worth a damn, I’m here to help. I care.

Jon Deer, The Thinking Writer