It's okay to lie as long as you reach a higher truth doing it.
I think there's something strange about writing a script I've written many, many scripts - dozens and dozens of scripts - and every time I start one, I think to myself: 'why in the world do I think I know how to do this?'
As much as I love period movies and especially more swashbuckling movies, I think that sometimes they tend to be, umm... it's hard for the audience to relate to them.
I worked as hard to write the worst film of the year as I did to write the best film of the year.
I write R-rated action dramas, and every year that goes by, that gets to be a smaller and smaller world you have to work in. You have to think of how to get the studio excited and sell them something.
Its such an egotistical thing to be able to just stand there and say, Action! Its like being a little mini-god.
I think Cool Hand Luke was probably the first movie in which I was aware of the writing as its own separate thing. It was that speech when the guy reads Paul Newman the riot act. The speech about going in the box.
For me in a film, almost every scene you end up cutting a bit of the start of it out, and some of the end of it out because there's always...once you've rehearsed it and shot it, it feels like a couple of times and you can always get out sooner.
If Im in the bookstore, and I see a 700-page novel, my first thought is, Ooh, how could you cut this down to size and make a movie out of it?
Its as boring to see a completely evil villain as it is to see a completely good guy.
If you write an original, its like you went in and dug a well, and you hit oil. But an adaptation, its like the oil wells on fire, and they bring you in to put the fire out and get it working again - or something like that.
I think test screenings with an audience are useful because they have no dog in the fight, they just say how they feel.
In exchange for ten years of being on top, I'm gonna end up in prison or I'm gonna end up dead, and there's something fascinating about that.
I think writing is a difficult thing and you need to suffer a little bit, even if it's just to sit there and think what an idiot you are and how anyone else could do this better than you can.
Because I've been at it so long and very steadily, I have a lot of credits, but I probably have twice as many scripts that were never made for whatever reason.
In my own experience, the scripts that I wrote, if they didn't go within two years and become a film, they never went and no one ever came looking for them.
It's always once the script's done in the first two years if it doesn't get going somehow or another, I've never had an old script that someone's made later on.
I know a lot of directors have a whole staff of people trying to find their next film for them. I always just end up writing mine.
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