Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THR's Writers Roundtable interview

The Hollywood Reporter continues its excellent series of roundtable interviews with a discussion with six writers, some of whom are also directors: Judd Apatow (This is 40), Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty), David Magee (Life of Pi), Chris Terrio (Argo), Michael Haneke (Amour) and John Krasinski (Promised Land).

Interesting subjects discussed include adapting real-life events; politics; death; getting started; and the writing process. Haneke speaks of his dislike of the Hitler drama Downfall and Spielberg's Schindler's List, and making entertainment from dark historical events in general. He said, "the mere idea of trying to create suspense out of the question of whether the showerhead gas is going to come on is unspeakable."

Mark Boal talks about having to writing and then rewriting Zero Dark Thirty. "I started writing a screenplay in 2006 or 2007 and then got sidetracked. ... Then I went back to the Osama bin Laden story and this big, catastrophic failure to catch him. And we were cast and in the early stages of preproduction when they got him. I had been telling people for years that this was an amazing story of how they didn't get him!" He goes on to say "It was actually a really personal thing for me because of 9/11 and being a New Yorker. But it presented an odd choice: Do you throw away two years of work and redo it or just sort of walk away? And I chose the first and revamped it. And then we just put pedal to the metal. It was a [complete] rewrite."

Actor John Krasinski said "I had always heard from my friends that the blank white page was terrifying, and I was like, 'Come on, there's a lot of things that are terrifying.' And then you realize it's one of the scarier things: To actually put yourself out there and be telling a story that's very personal is really hard."

Previous interviews: Roundtable interviews with Actors; Executives

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