Thursday, February 23, 2006

Richard Price and Len Blum

Two new writer interviews from the Writers Guild of America, west. With Richard Price (who has just finished adapating his novel Freedomland for the screen
People have this illusion that, If I write the script I can control the movie, and that's not true. It makes it even worse that you have that illusion. I think it's much more difficult to adapt your own stuff because you don't have the distance to be as ruthless as you need to be to make this thing work at a hundred and twenty pages. It's not even a hundred and twenty pages of prose; it's like a singing telegram. You've gotta throw so much stuff overboard. If you own every sentence of a book and you're in charge of gutting it, that doesn't make it easy. Just because you're a dentist, doesn't mean you should do your own root canal.
and Len Blum (one of the writers of the new Pink Panther remake).
My primary goal at this point [when a script is first submitted] is to give the reader a really good read and then have them reach for their checkbook saying, “I want to commit $60 million to making this picture.” If I wanted to make a really good movie, I might be specific about all kinds of other things, but that's not my goal. The reader who's going to commit $60 million just wants to have an excellent time reading. He's not going to make the movie; other people are going to make the movie. He just wants to have a good time, so I'm not too worried at this point about translating it to the screen.

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