Story and Character: Interviews with British Screenwriters

Alistair Owen, Editor Bloomsbury Publishing PLC $15.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-7475-6189-7
Never stooping to Hollywood dish or tales of writers' tantrums, the interviews in this collection aim to instruct readers about the art, craft and business of writing for film. Through probing and clever questions, Owen elicits a variety of insights from his 10 British subjects. Some of them are familiar, such as Chaplin scribe William Boyd's contention that""fear of failure"" underlies Hollywood's obsession with script rewrites. Others border on the satirical, like Richard Curtis's anecdote about a studio meeting in which the producers first declared that they loved his script, then tried to change everything about it. (Curtis later went on to write the blockbusters Four Weddings and a Funeral and Bridget Jones's Diary.) Some of the answers are even a little superstitious, such as True Blue author Rupert Walters's announcement that""Mike Hoffman has a theory that 114 is a lucky number and that a lot of 114-page scripts get made."" Less literary issues are covered as well, including the much-coveted Oscar nod and the bad blood that can arise between credited and uncredited screenwriters (particularly if the credited writers do end up with an Oscar). Though the interviewees rarely agree about much, their diverging opinions should prove inspiring for novices who are still finding their way in this prickly business. Informative, engaging and often quite funny, this book offers a behind-the-scenes look at how writers think about their work and the arduous and often confusing process of making movies.
Reviewed on: 01/01/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7475-5930-6
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4088-8066-1
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