Thursday, April 2, 2009

Writing for the producer

Wind me up a little and I can go on and on and on and, because film/screenwriting is really the only thing I know anything about, even when I go off on a tangent, it is usually relevant.

Writing is really my thing. I don't know much about producing but what I will say that might differ from a lot of writers is that I write for the producer as much as I write for the director or the actor.

What that means is that I write and teach my students to write in a very spare, conservative style that results in what I call very user-friendly screenplays.

My philosophy is that the screenplay is the instruction manual or blueprint for a film, and while it, of course, demands a high degree of artistry, the screenplay itself is not a work of art unto itself, it is the foundation of a film --- a jumping off place for directors, actors, cinematographers etc. and so, at the most basic level, it has to be a working document that serves everyone on the crew, not weighed down by verbosity, literary conventions and flowery prose.