Im Just The Writer
Writers are often are greatly surprised or disappointed by how their work is changed when it is adapted for the big screen. When Irwin Shaw's World War II novel The Young Lions was shot in Paris in 1958, the Nazi character was played by Marlon Brando. Ever the method actor, Brando provoked an uproar by strutting around town in his SS uniform, even going into restaurants to dine. The thirty three year old star was unsure if the Parisians ripping his clothes were doing it out of adulation or disdain. Like most actors Brando wanted to be loved and he took his concern to Shaw that the Nazi be made sympathetic. "You just don't understand the character", Brando told the amazed writer. "It's my character," replied Shaw. "Not anymore", replied the actor.
Some writers grow resigned to their voices being lost. George S. Kaufman wrote the screenplay for the Marx Brother's comedy Animal Crackers in 1930. He attended rehearsals and realized that nothing Groucho, Chico and Harpo were doing resembled his original draft. He watched as the director Victor Heerman was driven to distraction by the brothers showing up late, placing bets on horses, playing the stock market and never sticking to the script. Heeman literally threatened to imprison them in cages till they behaved. Kaufman took it in stride falling asleep through much of the tomfoolery. At one point the writer woke up with a start and shouted," Oh my God! I thought I heard one of my lines."
A few years ago comedy playwright Neil Simon announced he was moving from Los Angeles to New York. In Los Angeles he was isolated in his car all the time and he felt it is was hurting his writing. Better to be in New York where you walked everywhere and met people. His departure may have been hastened by writing and showing up to the set of The Marrying Man (1991). He got to witness Kim Basinger holding up the production with tardiness, temper tantrums and her much publicized love affair with co-star Alec Baldwin. Simon was humiliated when she held up her copy of the script and stated for all to hear," Whoever wrote this knows nothing about comedy!" The Odd Couple writer was too insulted to help fix the plot problems and the picture bombed.
Some writers are amazed to see their words turn into movie reality. When Margaret Mitchell (1900 -1949) was a young girl in Atlanta, various relatives took her on tours of Confederate battle sites, describing the Civil War so vividly that she imagined she was part of it. It took her ten years to write the text for Gone With The Wind which she scribbled on yellow legal pads, shoving them under her couch when friends would come over to visit her. The best-seller was turned into a movie in 1939 and Mitchell showed up in Hollywood for the fiming of Scarlett O'Hara (Vivian Leigh) nursing wounded soldiers at the Atlanta railway station. The author was overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of the scene. "My God", she told producer David O. Selznick. "If we would have had this many soldiers we would have won the war."
Some writers have strong ideas about who should play their characters. Novelist Tom Clancy was initially unhappy with the fifty year old Harrison Ford cast as the thirty something CIA agent Jack Ryan in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear And Present Danger (1994). He also berated the actor for suggesting plot changes to his stories. Ford angrily retorted that writers who sell their work to the big screen have to expect it to be changed, otherwise don't sell it. After the two films did great at the box office, Clancy hinted that he would be willing to bury the hatchet to get Ford to star in the next Jack Ryan installment, The Sum Of All Fears (eventually made with Ben Affleck in 2002). Ford demurred by saying," Maybe when I'm sixty."
Sometimes stars are better off just following the writer's instincts. Lou Holtz Jr. was disappointed that Jim Carrey brought in a team of writers to change his lighthearted script The Cable Guy (1996) into a dark tale about stalking. Despite Carrey winning the MTV award for best villain, the movie was panned by critics, led to several executives being fired at Sony pictures and became known in Hollywood as "The Straight To Cable Guy".
About The Author
Stephen Schochet is the author and narrator of the audiobooks Fascinating Walt Disney and Tales Of Hollywood. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch says," these two elaborate productions are exceptionally entertaining." Hear realaudio samples of these great, unique gifts at www.hollywoodstories.com.
The Practice of Writing
Virgil, the great Roman poet, wrote "Practice and thought might gradually forge many an art." From this we can assume that practice comes before thought, and so it is with present day writers.
Here's everything I know about improving your writing,publishing it electronically and in print, and promoting itafter the sale.
Generating Nonfiction Book Titles Without a Hassle
The process of developing a working title for your nonfiction book can be a hassle sometimes. You first have to brainstorm a few titles, and if the results aren't to your liking, you are practically forced to brainstorm more possible titles --- or do you?
Taking the Free Out of Freelance Writing
When you run an online agency for freelance writers, editors and proofreaders you'd think the biggest problem would be attracting employers who are willing to pay a decent hourly rate for freelance writing.
Is Someone Plagiarizing Your Work?
About two weeks ago I received an article submissionthat immediately attracted my attention. The title wasidentical to the title of an article I wrote and whichwas published in 'WebProNews' in May 1999.
Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?
Have you heard the term 'ghostwriter' and wondered what they do or who they work with? Although it sounds mysterious, ghostwriting is actually a very simple agreement where an individual or company hires a writer to create a work that will be owned outright by the buyer. The buyer is not required to give credit to the writer and is even allowed to claim authorship.
Alternative View Points and the Lamp of Creativity
Pictures they say are worth a thousand words, but many writers know that they are worth much more than that!
7 Ways to Turn Readers Into Friends
Back in my school days, if the teacher demanded a term paper I knew just what to do. I quickly researched the report, and wrote it as fast as I could.
A Few Brief Tips to Deal with Writing Rejection
What to do when you get rejected.
Linguaphone Language Learning Solutions
Language Training - A key to Global Communication
How to Write Articles, Reports, and Books Quickly
Do you have trouble getting your thoughts and ideas down into an article? Do you find it difficult to put 'pen to paper' to get your book started? Do you sit facing a blank screen struggling to find the words to write? If so, here are some tips and strategies you can use to get your material written quickly.
How To Self-Publish Your Own Books, Manuals, Reports Or Newsletters
You can make a lot of money by writing and self-publishing your own material, if you are willing to write books, manuals, reports or newsletters that millions of people across the United States, and throughout the world for that matter, desperately want to buy.
Rejection ? Have the Right Perspective and Don?t Quit
If you're getting rejections from your submissions, please don't quit yet until you read the following article. I want you to get a perspective on rejection.
How to Build A Success Freelance Career (Part 1)
In the current job market, many editorial workers have turned to freelancing as a matter of survival. I receive many queries from applicants regarding how to go about freelancing.
Memoir Writing Help, Memoir Writing Ideas
You might not need any memoir writing help, per se, as you know your past and you know quite well how to write, thank you. You might instead just need someone to inspire you, motivate you, give you a nudge--with some memoir writing ideas.
Turbo Charge Your Career! Write And Produce Your Own Stage Play!
Have you ever wondered how you can adapt your screenplay or novel into a stage play? Do you have a story that you yearn to see on stage? Or, maybe you're an actor frustrated by the barrage of fruitless auditions and dream of performing before a live audience. If so, writing and producing your own stage play just may be the ticket to turbo charging your career.
When I Grow Up
I've just come back to work after nine glorious, sun-drenched days at home. This year, vacation was the week of July 4th. We stayed home instead of dashing off to a cottage on a lake. Aside from saving a few thousand bucks, I had plans! Amazing plans! Projects galore, and the gumption to tackle every one of them!
Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 4 of 6
Top 7 Writers Sites for 2005
If you dream of turning your book into a best seller, or you're looking to become a best selling author in your field, then these sites promise to help you do just that.
Get An Attitude About Your Writing
(This excerpt is taken from my new writing workshop Writing To Sell In the Internet Age.)
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