.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


Stories from a seasoned screenwriter. Take heart! Your creative source is infinite and un-ending. Sometimes Hollywood just rips up the roadmap back to it. The bottom line is that Hollywood is not at all as bad as it sounds. Additionally, it's worse than you can imagine. Remember to pack a sense of humor.


I am a screenwriter living in Southern California. I've written screenplays for most of the Hollywood studios over the past 20 years. One of the uncredited writers of FANTASTIC FOUR, I wrote FIRE DOWN BELOW starring Steven Seagal, and the TV Movie 12:01 PM starring Martin Landau and MANEATER with Gary Busey. I have directed short films. I have written on numerous Hollywood studio assignments, some for big shot actors, some for small shot nobodies.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Creation is king. Creation is messy. Torn pages, multiple drafts, first tries, second tries, 100th tries. The artist endlessly hurls, tosses, throws, gently applies, punches, spits and lovlingly caresses - endlessly.

I hate hearing the whine about what someone isn't getting.

Like they're waiting for an executive in a Rolls to drive up to their door with a contract.

You make, you ache, you create, you manufacture, you build. You keep throwing it out to the universe - because you have to. You keep throwing it out into the universe until somone has to take notice.

Two great stories:

1) Several years ago I was working with a director on a Paramount project. We were doing re-writes on a script of mine based on studio notes, and his notes, notes that got him the job and everyone was very excited to change the script. We got along fine. He was eventually fired and I was kept on to undo his notes and put my stuff back in - and the film is still not made. Anyway, that's not the story. The story is that he was talking about a friend of his. A writer who had had major success in his career. But the guy had just penned a film that opened - and bombed. In a big way. It was an embarrasing bomb. It had screwed up the writers' other projects and immediate job prospects. So the director told me the guy had pulled back and was writing an idea he'd always wanted to do. Something he really cared about. He was hoping it would turn his career back around. The script was A Beautiful Mind.

2) I know two guys who wrote script after script in their twenties, thirties and forties and got nowhere. They were met with moderate to zero response and success over almost 20 years of writing. In their late forties one guy bailed the business. Gave up. He's in real estate. He's fine about it, realized it wasn't for him. Maybe deep down it wasn't. The other guy took other jobs, he had to as he had kids. But he always wrote. He wrote at night, or on weekends when he could, or in the cracks inbetween. Didn't stop. In his late forties he finally sold one, then another, then another, they were made, and they did very well. And he has an academy award in his bookshelf.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Philip.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Anonymous Michael L. Wentz said...


I got up this morning ready to dig into the second act of a script I am working on. I, of course, delayed the inevitable by checking out my favorite blogs. Well, this post was exactly what I needed today.

Many thanks.

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger Chris (UK Scriptwriter) said...

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again :)

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Michael: great stories like these endlessly inspire me too!

Monday, July 10, 2006  
Blogger A. M. said...

Really cool post indeed. I could use one like this every morning, too.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006  
Blogger Schmucks with Underwoods said...

Thanks for this post Philip - really inspired me. I like all that stuff about creativity being messy - puts it all in perspective.

Thursday, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

underwoods: Yes, I forget it myself every time I start something new, having left the shiny polished thing behind me. Why can't they all start out bright and shiny? Life started in the muck, and back to the muck it has to be, with both feet. Better to jump in feet first, then have to be dragged back in by your hair.

Thursday, July 13, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home