Source: @Slant_Magazine @AddisonDeTwitt
#screenwriting #playwriting #story
"You know you’re dealing with an assertive artist when he’s the one who starts the interview. Before I even sit down to speak with Tracy Letts, the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning actor-playwright known for conceiving and adapting works like Bug and Killer Joe, he’s already grilling me about Slant's not-so-ecstatic recaps of Homeland, a series on which Letts starred this season as the shady Senator Andrew Lockhart. Apparently, Letts doesn’t miss a bit of press that’s linked to his work, nor does he blindly speak to outlets without doing a little digging. Though always perfectly respectful, Letts is direct, and forthcoming, which should really be no surprise given the uninhibited stories he’s put his name to.
Having penned the screenplays for Bug and Killer Joe, two indelible bits of mind-fuckery that teamed the author with William Friedkin, Letts is now unleashing his adaptation of his most personal piece, August: Osage County, the film version of which marks a partnership with director John Wells—not to mention a monumental cast. Though a far cry from the Friedkin collaborations, August: Osage County is similarly no-holds-barred, dropping the viewer amid a venom-spitting brood inspired by Letts’s own family.
A sensation when it stormed Broadway in 2007, the story of August: Osage County takes place in Letts’s home state of Oklahoma, and it’s infused not just with the drama of dysfunction, but a Midwestern history with which he’s all too familiar. The man behind the narrative that’s now led to heavy awards buzz (particularly for leading ladies Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts), Letts discussed the story’s Native American themes, his opinion that his own mother, Billie Letts, is “a goddamned liar,” and, more than anything, the limits of control. That is, of course, after addressing those recaps.
Don’t we continually get bad reviews on Slant from the guy who writes the episode recaps for Homeland?
You might! One of our writers does recap the show on our blog. But, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t read those pieces, because I’m behind on this season of Homeland and I’m avoiding spoilers.
Yeah, well, I’ve read them. I read it all. I’m shameless. I read everything.
Oh yeah? Well, I do know that we at the site are fans of movies based on your work, like Bug and Killer Joe. Slant really digs Killer Joe.
Great. Glad to hear it.
Speaking of which, since Bug, Killer Joe, and August: Osage County are so different, I’ve been trying to think of how they connect thematically, and what I’ve come up with is this element of control—people trying to control their worlds via their bodies, shady deals, self-medication, even family. Is the issue of control something you consciously try to explore?
Oh man, that’s such a good question, and I haven’t had that question before, because I haven’t really had anyone pay that much attention to the works in total. I don’t know. Perhaps I just think it’s the stuff of drama, but perhaps it’s something from my own life as well. I mean, I’ve been sober for over 20 years, and I’m a subscriber of AA and its philosophies. So there probably is something in there about my belief that a certain giving up of control is good for the soul. I certainly think that, in August: Osage County, that moment in the play when Barbara insists she’s “running things now” was always a choice moment for the audience, and it’s in the film as well. And I think it taps into something that people feel, particularly in regard to their families: “Oh my god, if you would just do what I want you to do we’d be so much better off. If you’d just behave the way I feel you should behave.” As opposed to allowing people to make…..”
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Source: @jeannevb @scriptmag
#screenwriing #film #story
"Every once in a while, I need to have an editor rant. Perhaps I’ll call it “clarification” instead of a rant, because rant implies anger, and I’m not an angry person.
A few things happened this past week I feel need… clarification.
I’ve been mulling over how people approach life and their careers. Some people grab life by the throat and go after what they want, making changes along the way to grow and improve. Others are only open to hearing what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.
People are so odd sometimes, fighting evolution and staying stuck in old patterns that don’t work.
One of our columnists, Kevin Delin, wrote an article about tossing the famous and much-loved structure of Save the Cat!, and instead, writing in a way that is uniquely intuitive to you personally. The reactions were many, but what I found fascinating was how they varied widely on Twitter versus Facebook. Our Facebook readers were aghast that I would post such an article. Yet the Twitter audience applauded Kevin’s out-of-the box thinking.
There’s a lot we could analyze about why those two platforms reacted so differently, of which I have an opinion, but that’s a discussion for another day.
What I also found interesting was how some people attacked me personally for posting it. Then again, people also email me expletives that are so raw and vulgar, if I happen to miss correcting typos in an article, they’d make my Sicilian grandfather blush. You haven’t lived until you go through an editor’s inbox. Some days, it takes a tougher skin than sitting with a Hollywood exec.
Again, not “ranting,” just… clarifying.
Maybe I should clarify my overall philosophy on why I post what I post on ScriptMag. We now have over 50 contributors, for whom I have great respect. Do I personally agree with every post I publish? Hell no. Nor do I want to. I’m sure a few of them don’t agree with some of my Balls of Steel articles.
We all write our columns based on our opinions and our personal experiences in the industry, hoping the information we …..”
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Source: @Deadline @DeadlineNellie
#tv #writing #screenwriting
“AMC has given pilot orders to dramas Knifeman and Galyntine. Both will be produced by AMC Studios next year for consideration for series for 2015. The scripts for Knifeman and Galyntine, along with White City, had been heating up for a pickup at AMC over the past month, with Knifeman and Galyntine now joining AMC pilot Line Of Sight.
Inspired by the biography of John Hunter by Wendy Moore, “The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching And The Birth of Modern Surgery,” Knifeman is set in 18th Century London. It tells the story of a charming, arrogant, decorum-breaking genius who challenges societal norms to transform his visions into cutting-edge discoveries. A surgeon or “barber” in a time when blood-letting and praying was the norm, John Tattersal is a hard drinking, hard living man not afraid to push the boundaries of modern medicine, even if it takes digging up a few graves to do it. While he makes his living running an unlicensed operating theatre out of his residence, he picks up extra cash harvesting organs for his brother Julian, favorite son and prized physician of the St. Stephen’s teaching hospital. The pilot was written by Rolin….”
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Source: @scriptmag @jeannevb
"Always on the hunt for writers taking control of their own destiny, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Guinevere Turner writer of American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page, and now a full-on indie filmmaker with a new project at hand. Once I watched her IndieGoGo video, complete with puppets doing drugs, I was hooked.
Let’s dive in and see what makes Guinevere Turner tick…
JVB: What’s your current project about?
GT: My current project, Creeps, is about two best friends, a gay man and a lesbian, and a week that they spend trying to stay sober. (They like their drugs and alcohol). Really it’s kind of about the way we create family in our LGBT culture. It’s about a whole kind of alternative family group of friends and their lives in a week.
JVB: After writing films like American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page, what inspired you to go indie?
GT: Ha that’s a hilarious question. They are indie to me! They were both extremely challenging to raise money for. A movie with the word “Psycho” in the title, that isn’t really a horror film at all, and a movie with one of the sexiest women of the century that is more of an intimate character piece. Not easy to sell. But what’s making me go DEEP indie now is a.) That is where my filmmaking instincts started (Go Fish), b.) My movie Creeps is also a hard sell (LGBT functional addicts who aren’t that nice), and c.) The whole crowdfunding option intrigued me and appeals to my thrill-seeking, risk-taking side. So why not go for it? If not now, when?!
JVB: Having co-written Creeps and other scripts, what’s your process working with a co-writer?
GT: It depends on who it is. I personally really like to be in the same room (I loathe talking on the phone anyway), and I like for there to be only one computer that gets passed back and forth. I know some collaborators pick scenes and go off and write them separately, but that doesn’t work for me. It’s about the conversation in the room, and brainstorming. And who types…..”
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