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'Rent' was a special project for me. It was my first notable screenplay job. I worked with two wonderful directors on it, starting with Spike Lee in the summer of 2001. I wrote a draft for Spike and he was really good to me.
When there wasn't a lot of work, I wrote a screenplay, 'What Lies Beneath,' which got noticed and got me more acting jobs. As I got more jobs, I was able to make my own films. That ethos of making my own work has provided me with a lot of opportunities.
I like to begin every screenplay with a burst of delusional self-confidence. It tends to fade pretty quickly, but (for me, at least) there doesn't seem to be any other way to start writing a script.
Writing a screenplay, for me, is like juggling. It's like, how many balls can you get in the air at once? All those ideas have to float out there to a certain point, and then they'll crystallize into a pattern.
I don't care who you are. When you sit down to write the first page of your screenplay, in your head, you're also writing your Oscar acceptance speech.
You sell a screenplay like you sell a car. If someone drives it off a cliff, that's it.
Rita Mae Brown
On the one occasion where I did try writing a screenplay, I found the rewriting just unendurable.
The time it would take me to write a screenplay it would take me the time to make two films. I would rather make the movies, and I'm a better moviemaker than I would be writer.
I really just love to open a blank document and spew, whereas with a screenplay I have to be more judicious.
If the screen does not make room for me in the structure of their screenplay, I'll step out. I'll step back. I'd step back. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it.
I don't generate a storyline and then fill it out in the course of writing. The story actually generates in the course of the writing. It's one of the reasons I've never been comfortable doing screenplays, because in order to get the contract for the screenplay, you have to sit down and tell them what's going to happen.
If I'm feeling something, I have a lot of different ways to express it, you know? I can write an article about it. I can write a screenplay about it. I can act in someone's thing.
I had gone to the bookstore, and while I hadn't bought any books on how to write a screenplay, I'd bought a couple of scripts so I could see how the formatting works. I just needed to know how a Hollywood screenplay looked on the page, which was something I was totally unfamiliar with.
Writing a screenplay needs to be more than words on a page - and by the way, I think the words on the page are something you have to try to execute on the highest level you can; I'm not dismissing that by any regard.
That freedom of writing you don't get in other formats, I'd rather leave it to someone else to deal with the headache of drafting my book into a screenplay.
This is not a screenplay. I don't do twenty drafts. I'm not going to show this to you until it's published or accepted for publication. You can make whatever suggestions you want, but I probably will ignore them entirely.
Robert B. Parker
The first comedy screenplay that I wrote was Animal House and I always thought I could and should be a director but no one was about to give me that opportunity on Animal House.
Courier 12 is the Type-O blood of fonts - works just as good for a 'N.Y. Times' op-ed as a screenplay or a short story.
I want to release another CD this year, finish writing a screenplay, and make another short film.
You use simple brushstrokes in a screenplay for things over which you would take much greater pains in a novel.
The way I write is very much without kind of a goal. I have something I'm interested in and then I decide I'm going to explore it. I don't know where the characters are going to go, I don't know what the movie is going to do or what the screenplay is going to do. For me, that's the way to keep it alive.
A screenplay is really an instruction manual, and it can be interpreted in any number of ways. The casting, the choice of location, the costumes and make-up, the actors' reading of a line or emphasis of a word, the choice of lens and the pace of the cutting - these are all part of the translation.
If I talk about Charles Dance I am talking about something else, something I operate and wind up and have to make an impression with and use to transmit someone else's screenplay.
David Mamet we all know is a great screenplay writer and playwright and a great director. If you like him, you like him. If you hate him, you really hate him. He's someone who's into controversy, you know what I mean? That's David Mamet.
Really, when I write a book I'm the only one I have to please. That's the beauty of writing a book instead of a screenplay.
Getting your screenplay right is the most important thing you'll ever do on your film.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.
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