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- Page 15
Improv definitely made me a better auditioner, without a doubt. We did do an audition semester in grad school, and that was helpful for those times that you have a script and you have a few days to prepare it, to really work on sides. But the auditions I was doing in New York, if you got it the night before, you were very lucky.
I've been working on this feature script for Master Class, a play by Terrence McNally that won a lot of Tonys.
But my family's really close and I was interested in what Mommy and Daddy did for a living. So when Mommy and Daddy had a script that wasn't totally age inappropriate, they would let me read it. And we would talk about it.
I consider my job as a screenwriter to pack a script with possibilities and ideas - to create a feast for the filmmaker to pick from.
I have a very good memory for scripts. I can watch a show I like once, then remember about 90% of the script. But ask me who was in it, and I wouldn't have a clue.
I'd rather say no and have said no and do say no often. I walk away from projects if it doesn't feel right; if it's not the right team of people pulling in together or if the script isn't right. It could be a great idea but the script doesn't work.
I always write the script by myself.
Basically, the actor's job is to pay attention to the script.
Even when I'm reading a script where I'm supposed to be looking at the lead role, I'll find myself gravitating toward some small weirdo in a few scenes instead. I'm very instinctive like that and I love the challenge of not having a lot of time to create someone who feels real.
To be honest I don't watch the show, I don't watch any TV, so I have no idea what the show is about. I go to Hawaii, shot my scenes and script and 'Ciao.' I'm not a 'Lost' fanatic and it's a disappointment for thousands people and friends that are dying to know what will happen. They know more than me.
We all write, but the script is a blueprint. We can lose whole scenes when we're shooting.
I think sequels should be earned and we won't do it unless the script is better than the first one.
You need the words, you need the script, you need the material, you need the commitment, you need the passion, it's like we depend on writers, we depend on producers, directors depend on us and once things are in the divine order as they happen.
Originality is, for me, the most important quality in a script.
I read a script and I know immediately whether that role is for me or not.
I think I read films having grown up around the pre-production and post-production aspect of the filmmaking medium, a lot more than most young people who are in acting would have experienced. I do think about scripts in a different way. I can't just read a script as an actor. I don't know how to do that.
I find that most of my scripts have a lot more scenes than most films, so the average movie might have 100 scenes, my average script has 300 scenes.
I think every script I read has something that sends me into a state of panic but that usually makes me want to do it.
I wasn't involved, except to the degree that they sent me drafts of the script as the writer turned them in. They asked me at one point to write a memo about what I thought of it.
What's going to be hard for me is to try to divorce myself as much as possible from what I wrote. I'll have to approach it simply as raw material and try to craft a film script out of it.
And the inner dynamics of Hollywood are like politics. Say you give a script to a group of executives - they all sit around, afraid to voice an opinion, saying nothing, waiting to know what the consensus is. Just like focus groups, opinion polls or a cabinet.
Well, obviously I was excited by the idea that Woody Allen was going to direct it. But at the same time, the script itself and the character was really interesting.
Because these show are live, script pages are being switched during the program and new commercial teases might be yelled in your ear with just enough time to scribble them on scrap paper before reading them.
Fozzie Bear has so many bear puns in this script - like, 'Trac is grizzly!' 'This is unbearable!' It's the greatest.
I just think Australia tends to make very good movies, so if someone hands me an Australian or an American film script I would guess the Australian film would be more intriguing.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
John F. Kennedy
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