Screenwriting is one of the greatest hidden art forms of the 21st century.
Everyone knows about films, and stars, and directors, even producers. But nobody knows much about screenwriters. If anything at all. They are the best kept secret of the industry.
Yet most people acknowledge that the script is where it all starts.
Indeed, everyone you meet is writing a screenplay, or wants to pitch their idea for a film that’d go gangbusters in Hollywood. In Shakespeare In Love , there is a classic moment when even the ferryman tries to offer Shakespeare a manuscript that he has written.
So how does this reclusive breed, this ‘secret society’ of writers – the ones who actually do the writing – from the blank page to the final polish? Do they drive Mercs or Mitsubishis? Do they have ‘day jobs’ or write 24/7? Where do they get their ideas? How do they survive? How do they collaborate with directors, producers and actors?
There are any number of books on screenwriting. But when was the last time you saw a screenwriter on the TV, saying how they wrote that fantastic script? Or how many times they rewrote it before it finally saw the light of day? Or what they were doing – changing a nappy, fixing a burst tap or de-fleaing the dog – when they had that breakthrough moment, enabling them to write the ‘unwritable’ scene or resolve the ‘unresolvable’ turning point?
‘the secret life of screenwriters’ tells all! From the perspective of eight leading practitioners, it offers a fascinating personal insight into the hidden art of writing for the screen.
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