Q: What is the best way to get a script read in Hollywood? Does sending them to studios to be read by interns really work?
Sending scripts into Hollywood is joke. It’s always been a joke, but even more so since Hollywood is pretty much falling apart, except for TV. If your scripts really are good, then sort out which one is the best. It’s funny. I find it takes a couple of years to get a script really right. As the good writers say, the writing is easy, it’s the re-writing that’s a bitch. So, in any case, take one of the scripts and find people around you to make it. The hell with Hollywood. Move Hollywood to wherever you live. The hardest (and by far, scariest) part of making movies is working with other people. But that’s what you have to do. DON’T DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF. Should I repeat that? Find a casting director. Do you live in any kind of city? Or near one. There are actors there. They do commercials. Or go to the local theaters. USE REAL ACTORS, NOT YOUR FRIENDS. Actors need exposure, are desperate for it and will be better at playing roles than your friends. It’s scary showing your script to other people (and to actors). TOO BAD. Do it. Play guts ball. Forget Hollywood. Make your movie. Do it on video. FIND A REALLY GOOD PERSON WITH A CAMERA. Don’t do it yourself. Unless you’ve really worked as a DP. That’s a start…good luck. When you’ve finished the film, let me know….I’ll look at it. Oh, and if you aren’t a director, but really want to be a writer only, then guess what…find a director near where you live. Directors are desperate for good scripts, at least they should be. Another great saying – only three things matter when making a movie: the script, the script and the script…
Q: I want to be a film director someday and am currently in school. Do you have any tips to get to where you are?
I think the key to directing (to doing anything well) is to allow yourself to go where it is your meant to go. That means that you concentrate on work that you know better than anyone else – that means drawing on your own life. I’ve made the mistake over and over that I want to be cool, make cool stuff — it’s never really worked that well. There are some really cool people )I guess) – they make some cool stuff – actions pictures, etc. Most people aren’t like that. I’m not. So increasingly I’m trying to do work about people I know. About things I really know. And really like. Or hate. Emotion is the most important thing in movie making.
Q: What’s All This, Then?
This is a new segment of the website where you all can ask me, Stephen, anything you want. Be it a question about the movie, or what I had for breakfast. Fire away!