Welcome back to The Write Stuff! I'm thrilled that there is such a strong interest in screenwriting out there. Thank you all so much for your comments last week, both here and on my site. All of your questions and comments will be addressed in the coming weeks, so stay tuned and keep them coming!
The first interview for the column is with red-hot screenwriter Adam F. Goldberg. Adam is living the dream. He writes for both television and film, and his upcoming movie projects include Fanboys, the live-action Jetsons movie, and They Came from Upstairs. Cinematical spoke with the incredibly busy Goldberg about his scripts, his process, and Goonies: The Musical.
Cinematical: You said you were being "enslaved by a director," what are you working on? And should I call the authorities?
Adam F. Goldberg: Perhaps call them for my hacky writing! It's called They Came From Upstairs for Fox. It's a family movie, kinda like Gremlins -- but with aliens. The spec was written by Mark Burton and was sold for like $1.7 mil. I believe I am making about .0001212 of that. It's been a really cool project. The movie was in pre-production and the studio realized the script wasn't ready and shut it down pretty late in the game. I came aboard to get the train back on the tracks which is always high pressure and very difficult to do. I handed in 40 pages and they re-greenlit the movie and we're casting and location scouting now. I'm on draft two currently, working next to the director and bringing his vision into it.
Cinematical: Is that an awkward process at all -- being brought in to re-write a fellow writer? Do you ever run into hurt feelings or bruised egos? I guess the $1.7 million makes the pill easier to swallow.
AFG: Well, I come from the TV world, writing on sitcoms and that's very collaborative. You have to sit in the room and watch 10 other writers tear apart your script right in front of you. That bruises your ego. As for movies, more often than not a writer can only go so far and it's your job to bat clean up. It's never a great feeling to have your screenplay rewritten, but hopefully you've moved onto your next project, so it doesn't sting so much. And believe me, that $1.7 payday is like winning the lottery. I hope I can sell a spec one day. I've had little luck in that department.