After her overnight success — and Academy Award — for the Juno script a half-dozen years ago, Diablo Cody became quite the Hollywood sensation. Two films, a Showtime series and some uncredited stuff later, she’s making her directorial debut with Image Entertainment’s October 18 release Paradise. In that time the polarizing Cody learned a few lessons about extending her first 15 minutes into a career: Namely, learn to deal and tone it down. Yawn. Here’s one of seven tips she shared with Vulture: “I said a lot of stupid things in interviews because I figured no one was paying attention — who cares about screenwriters, generally? But my big mouth got me into trouble countless times. As a ‘visible’ writer, you have to learn to conduct yourself like an actor. Say what you’ve been coached to say. Don’t talk shit about anyone. Behind closed doors, I’m still a drunk train wreck, but in interviews, I try to channel Sandra Bullock or someone else the public finds charming.”
An American screenwriter in London, the Bourne franchise scribe was taking part in the BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters’ Lecture Series when he unveiled these lessons for success. Among the things Tony Gilroy says aspiring writers need to do, according to BBC News: “Make stuff up, but keep it real,” “Learn to write anywhere, anytime” and “Don’t live in Los Angeles”. Here’s the full list, along with his Gilroy’s comments:
Related: Mike Fleming’s Q&A With Tony Gilroy
1. Go to the movies
I don’t think there is anything you can learn from courses or books. You have been watching movies since you were born. You have filled your life with narrative… and food. It’s already way down deep inside you.
Going to the movies, having something to say, having an imagination and the ambition to do it is really all that is required. You can learn how to do anything.
2. Make stuff up but keep it real
This is imaginative work – screenwriters make things up. Everything I have in my life is a result of making things up. There is one thing that you have to know that is a deal-breaker – human behaviour.
The quality of your writing will be directly related to your understanding of human behaviour. You need to become a journalist for the movie that is in your head. You need to report on it; every scene has to be real.
Attention American writers: China is calling. Beijing’s municipal government is launching an international screenwriting competition for U.S.-based writers of all nationalities. The “tale of Beijing” themed contest is open to aspiring and established writers who submit short and feature-length screenplays centered on China’s capital city and its culture. Stated goal of the initiative is to foster artistic collaboration and creative dialogue between China and the US. Unlike many other contests, there is no entry fee for the 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition.
Beverly Hills, CA – Five writers have been selected as winners of the 25th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each writer will receive a $30,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at a