It's Wednesday, and you know what that means -- time for The Write Stuff! This week Cinematical spoke with screenwriter Captain Mauzner. Mauzner has an interesting perspective on screenwriting because he's written two major films based on true events and actual people. He co-wrote 2003's Wonderland -- the story of the infamous "Wonderland Murders," which starred Val Kilmer as legendary porn star John Holmes. And he wrote last year's Factory Girl, the tale of Edie Sedgwick (played by Sienna Miller), Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce), and a Dylanesque "Musician" played by Hayden Christensen. We spoke about Mauzner's scripts, process, and the trickiness of writing scripts based on fact.
Cinematical: Are you working on anything right now?
Captain Mauzner: I am working on something right now, yeah. I'm adapting a book. It's a small book, it's called The Food Chain, by Geoff Nicholson. A friend of mine runs a small company and I'm adapting it with the hopes of directing it. It's kind of about food, sex, and cannibalism. Revenge, food, sex, and cannibalism.
Cinematical: Well, alright!
CM: It's a little dark comedy. It's fun. And what was nice about it was -- I've written so many things and a lot of them are true life stories, and they all seem to be about kind of deplorable human beings. And I think that my comfort zone is really kind of in the dark side -- the drug addicts, the deviants. And I think that as I've kind of gotten older and left that world myself, I guess you could say I've become less and less interested in it. You see these movies like Wonderland and Factory Girl and you could say "oh, they're like an argument against doing drugs." But I know for myself, there's always a glamorizing element to it. And as much as you want to say this is the downfall of these people, which it is -- and obviously there's nothing glamorous about the drug lifestyle, or the party lifestyle because it does lead to bad things. But just the act of writing about it or making these the main characters or trying to explain these people, I feel like that somewhat glamorizes it, or at least in my mind it was very glamorous. I had a very romantic notion, at like 14-years-old I discovered Bukowski and I was kind of off to the races. So I think that as I get older I'm ready to move on to maybe something light and happy. My family's always like "Why can't you write something that we can take Grandma to?"
Cinematical: So do you find when you're writing about drugs and debauchery, that you're not looking to condemn it and point a finger, you're just looking to present it and let the audience decide?
CM: Absolutely. I'm not looking to condemn it at all. I'm not looking to be moral about it. I believe in experimentation. I believe in doing kind of what you want and not having anybody else tell you what to do. I think that my fascination with it is always the "why." Why do people do this? I think that's kind of the fun of being able to do those kind of things is that you can live kind of vicariously through these people, and try to figure out the "why" without being judgmental.