Thursday 11 November 2010

Your Questions, My Answers!

The other day, I said a hello to all the new readers here by asking some questions as a way of getting to know you, and said that, if you had any questions for me, feel free to ask. And many of you did. So here are all your questions and hopefully some of my answers will be of interest! Thanks for the wonderful questions!

Sometimes I swear the melodrama will destroy me........
Two things, 1.your breaking in story, how you got to where you are, is it who you know, or talent that gets picked up these days? and 2. What inspires you? I need advice! Mine's dried up!!!

'Breaking in' is such a strange concept. I think believing in it immediately puts you on the outside; and you feel like you have to be extra special to smash through a wall to 'get in.' But in reality; there's just people making projects. And of course, it's hard to get involved in a big project when you're fifteen and living in Sweden or something. So you do what you can, maybe you make a little movie. And then it gets in a festival. And then you do a bigger film, and so on and so forth; and more and more doors open up... not because you have the magic password, but just because: you're doing the work. 

Industry secret: Most people can't be bothered to turn up in a freezing cold field at 3am to be on an unpaid film shoot. If you DO do it, people will like you. And their next project will pay 50 euros/dollars/pounds a day. And they'll still like you. And then on and on and so forth. It's about showing up, constantly working on your craft. Most (not all) actors and directors struggled MASSIVELY for a LONG time. That's what the journey is. Here's a quote from my interview with LAWRENCE SHER, who's now one of the best DOP's in the business; " The year that I made 'Kissing Jessica Stein' was one of the first years where I decided I would not do any more camera assisting even though that was basically how I was earning a living. What a miserable year, it was my only job all year and I think I made $7,000 on the whole movie. So, here I was, a 30 year old guy and I made $7,000 that year." 

Is it talent or who you know, you asked. Use whatever you've got. If you happen to know Spielberg, great! What a wonderful privilege! If you don't -- then use your talent. But make sure you use your talent; and you don't pander too much to someone else's idea of what your talent means, cause then you'll lose your focus. That's my experience at least. As for what inspires me; new experiences mainly. New places, new faces, new blog readers! :) Or just put a pretty girl in my life and get her to not reply to my messages and it'll give me enough angst to inspire three screenplay's...

Sorry if you've answered this in a post already... I haven't read through them all... but if you could've written any movie or acted in any movie... what would it be???

I'd love to have written 'The Apartment' - just because it's such a perfect screenplay. There are many technically perfect screenplay's, I guess, but The Apartment is some kind of magic -- it's just amazing how much joy I feel when reading it, and how beautifully it's put together. 

I'd like to have acted with Jimmy Stewart. Or Ginger Rogers. Actually-- no, most of all, I'd LOVE to have been in a scene with Mr. Chaplin. 

How different is what you are today from what you wanted to be/thought you would be as a child? Are you where you ultimately want to be or do you have a wish to climb higher?

I am where I want to be. I have bigger ambitions, of course; but I don't stress about them otherwise I'd be stressed all the time and feeling incomplete. As for the difference from when I was younger till now. I think my creative life, my writing and directing, is going the way I always hoped and expected--- but what's different is that, I find myself very interested in helping other people be creative. I don't mean by giving script notes or telling them what to do, because I have no idea--- but I like reminding people of how talented they are, and making them feel a bit better and more confident. Sometimes I can succeed in that! I'm not sure where it came from. 

Matt Zurcher
What's your favorite movie?

Cinema Paradiso. 

I really don't know anything about you yet! Are you a working screenwriter? Have you written anything I would know? I love your blog so far! :)

Sorry to tell you this, but I'm not Charlie Kaufman. But I am a screenwriter. You probably haven't seen my work, but who knows? I was once standing outside a building in the Lower East Side, in Manhattan; after a screenwriting thing, and this girl came up to me, as she'd heard my name mentioned-- and she knew all about my film work and really loved it. But that's rare. I'm like one of those Bruce Springsteen bootleg's that only about twenty-six people own. Most people don't know he recorded them, but those that have them really like them! :)

what i want to know about you? your least favorite movies. we may hate the same ones lol

The American Pie movies that came after the third one -- what were they thinking?!

What do I want to know about you? I want you to answer those exact questions!

I knew someone would make me do this! ha

What is your favorite movie?

Cinema Paradiso. 

What is the movie that you secretly watch five times a year even though it's way too cheesy/terrible?

'You've Got Mail.' Or 'One Fine Day.'

What inspires you?

New York.

What do I want to know about you? Your blog is so inspirational day in and day out. Just keep up the good work Kid!

Wow - Thank You!!

What do I want to Know? Do you believe that the story or the actors make the movie? Just curious, heh

I think the story is the most important thing. Otherwise what's the point? There's a reason we don't go back very often to watch Tom Hanks in 'Joe Versus The Volcano.' 

T. Knowley
What would I like to know about you, What was the first movie you remember seeing in the theater as a kid and did you like it?

I don't have a good answer for this! Most writers and directors, when interviewed, have these amazing stories about being three months old and jumping out of their Mother's arms, stealing a car; and hiding out in a cinema watching French New Wave films. I don't have that, at all. I don't remember anything. I have no idea! And it bothers me!

What movies/shows do you hate?

Scrubs. I don't get it. 

I am working on that whole passionate part. I am just so lost right now trying to find my way... The one question I have for you is How did you become so passionate about movies?

I used to find it really exciting to sit in my room, in my early teens, and just watch movies non-stop. I just loved it all - I loved the stories, I loved seeing great acting, I loved laughing, I loved the shape of the frame, it just felt right to me. The rest of the world was all Math's book and girls who wouldn't talk to me and boys who were into smoking and I just didn't get it. But I got movies. They were important to me. 

Draven Ames
Your dreams and aspirations. Do you like horror?
 I like the layout of your blog and congratulations on being put in the spotlight! Wow! Surreal?

I would pretty much never choose to watch a horror. I do like them though! I just don't like bad ones. And I think most of them are bad. But it's not my thing. My dreams and aspirations; in regard to film; are to be like Woody Allen -- to be able to have a modest budget, year after year, and to be able to write and direct the projects I want to do. 

And yeah; it's surreal! my blog hits was in the hundreds each day, and suddenly it's in the thousands (I realise this boost is temporary) -- but I felt suddenly silenced! Like, eeeeeeeeeek - what the hell do I talk about? I'm sure all these masses of people won't want to read my weird stories about tea drinking

Roy Hutabarat
perspective, i guess.. since u surely won't give me some money.. hahaha, kidding.. perspective is what i'm looking for by blogging.. it helps me see thing in a better eyes..

My perspective is that we really suffocate when we think about money! Especially when it comes to creativity. 

I want to know if your as sick as me of all the latest hollywood garbage..i also dont really care how much the latest superhero film took ;]

I used to feel like that. But now, my perspective is a bit different. I don't really pay attention to a lot of the big releases. I mean, I'll take a look at a trailer and if I'm interested, I'll go. But, if there's a trailer for SAW 19, and it looks terrible; what does it have to do with me? Nothing. People will go and see SAW 26, just like they'll rot their teeth with Pepsi. We're human, we like dumb shit. But rather than lose sleep over it, the truth is that if you write an INCREDIBLE screenplay, or if you make a GENIUS low-budget movie; you'll be fine, people will respond to it. Look at 'Once,' look at 'In Search Of A Midnight Kiss' - they're not miracles, they're just pieces of art that people decided to make. 

Tim Riley
Question for Kid: What was your original plan when you started this blog?

Stimulate Photography
What made you start this blog?

I don't know if you can relate to this, but I find that; for anyone who's creative-- everyone always has an opinion, and it's often quite personal. If I see a plumber do a job; I don't really know whether it's particularly good or not. But if a Plumber sees a film I've made; he'll happily tell me I'm a useless sack of shit. Back when I started the blog-- I was tired of putting myself on the line; and I wanted a place where I could go back to the essence of being a little kid who was excited by the movies. And I wanted to write from that perspective, without my best friend telling me "your dialogue is a bit stiff" y'know? So that was my initial reason, I think. 

Question for you: What was your favorite interview you've done?

Eeek - how can you make me choose? There's two really exciting ones coming up that I'll be posting very soon.....

But, let's see. Of the ones I've done. The four that are on the left side bar of this blog are probably my favorites. Scott Rosenberg is a real screenwriting hero for me. I think 'Beautiful Girls' is a perfect movie. And what I like about Scott is how he can talk about writing for Jerry Bruckheimer without any ego, or bullshit, he just explains things and you realise that Scott isn't a God, he's just a man. An extremely talented one. He's awesome. I hope you guys have seen his TV show October Road. It only lasted for two seasons but it's really wonderful.

Josh Malina and Giuseppe Sulfaro were great-- I love their work. Lawrence Sher is also brilliant. He also took the time to speak to me at length about my project, and he was full of advice and ideas.

--- Thank you all for the questions, I hope the answers are interesting! And feel free to join the Facebook Fan Page!

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  1. Fascinating post - and I love the reason you started the blog: inspirational unto itself.


  2. that was fast and thoughtful. No pressure now to continue to provide insight and make interesting posts... Good luck.
    And thanks for the comment, I hate self promoting but get the warm fuzzies when someone other than immediate family takes joy in my ramblings.
    Here's another question for you, have any Asian movie recommendations? Hong Kong cop dramas, Japanese psych thillers or Wong Kar Wai favs?

  3. Thanks for answering myquestion. It means a lot to me. I have come to realize that somethings have been taken from me. I need to find out how to take back my life from them. But thanks for the encouraging words...

  4. Well said, keep up the great work buddy

  5. Jess-- I'm not the guy for Asian movie recommendations. Hopefully someone else here can give you some recommendations. And when you've watched them, let me know which ones you recommend for me!

    Crazystar -- What's been taken from you?

  6. This was an awesome read! Thank you yet again for something fun as well as information! TGIF!

  7. I've got a lot of catching up to do on your blog, but wow! Much fun so far! Off to read some more. BOOKMARKED. I'd give it two thumbs up.

  8. Thanks all. And HJP, glad you like ONE FINE DAY!!

  9. One of my favorite movies of all time is "Love Actually." I watched it quite often a few years ago when I was going through some difficult times. It helped in uplifting me.