The Writer Speaks…

18 Apr

Two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter has penned some of the most iconic, lauded and cherished movies of all time, including Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men, Marathon Man, The Princess Bride, Harper, Misery and A Bridge Too Far. He has written, co-written or consulted on vehicles for towering movie stars including Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Matt Damon, James Caan, Clint Eastwood and Anthony Hopkins.


Screenwriting Tips from William Goldman:

“The easiest thing to do on earth is not write.”

“Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.”

“Screenplays are structure, and that’s all they are. The quality of writing—which is crucial in almost every other form of literature—is not what makes a screenplay work. Structure isn’t anything else but telling the story, starting as late as possible, starting each scene as late as possible. You don’t want to begin with “Once upon a time,” because the audience gets antsy.” 

“Whoever invented the meeting must have had Hollywood in mind. I think they should consider giving Oscars for meetings: Best Meeting of the Year, Best Supporting Meeting, Best Meeting Based on Material from Another Meeting.”

“If you write movies, you never know who the enemy is. Someone is going to fuck you, that’s a given.” 

“There is one crucial rule that must be followed in all creative meetings: Never speak first. At least at the start, your job is to shut up.”

“Studio executives are intelligent, brutally overworked men and women who share one thing in common with baseball managers: they wake up every morning of the world with the knowledge that sooner or later they’re going to get fired.”

“Being a screenwriter is not enough for a full creative life.”

“As far as the filmmaking process is concerned, stars are essentially worthless — and absolutely essential.”

“Stars, you have to understand, play gods. They have be perfect. They can’t have a flaw unless they can wink at the audience and say, ‘I’m really wonderful.’ “

Nobody knows anything…… Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.

Spend 90 minutes with William Goldman and learn about his “Inconceivable” writing Career:

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Posted by on April 18, 2015 in Film Club


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