How they write s script: Walter Hill

A must read for anyone interested in screenwriting.

Go Into The Story

I tried to write in an extremely spare, almost haiku style, both stage directions and dialogue. Some of it was a bit pretentious — but at other times I thought it worked pretty well.

When I’m working alone, the old hard way. Longhand. Fountain pen. Legal pad. Thesaurus at my side.

This last item, I’m not ashamed to say, is quite helpful — when you write screenplays, you don’t have a lot of room, and the stage directions can become onerously repetitive if you don’t work at fresh descriptions. 

Walter Hill

How they write a script: Robert Towne

I like Towne’s approach. It’s like getting a calming slap across the face.

I didn’t realise until recently Towne had an uncredited role in writing on one of my all time favourite films, The Parallax View (1974). If you’ve not seen it you should, it’s a great piece of 1970’s conspiracy theory filmmaking, from Alan J. Pakula.

How they write s script: Lawrence Kasdan

Some interesting insights into Kasdan’s work. I actively relate to his impulse to be linear. “I don’t write a quick draft and then go back. I don’t like to leave anything behind me, because I’m uncomfortable with it. I tend to write a scene many times over before going on.”

How they write script: Paul Schrader

An interesting insight into Schrader’s process. I like that he knows while he’s writing how far ahead or behind he is. I’ve certainly taken some of that insight for myself.

Schrader’s handwritten outline for ‘Raging Bull’

You know as you’re running past this house, the corner, whether you’re ahead or behind your time.

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