Danny Rubin (author of Groundhog Day), When A Screenplay Falls in a Forest, at Pure Movies.
As part of the application to my screenwriting course at Harvard I ask the students to ask me a question. Most of the questions I’ve received are just fine – good indicators of what the student hopes to learn and sometimes what they misunderstand about what screenwriters do. Yesterday I got this question and it simply blew me away:
“Would you write a feature length screenplay if you knew it would not be produced?”
Oh my. That gets to the heart of so many things.
My immediate response is, without a doubt, no. Of course not. Why would I do that?
And then I hear my impassioned lecturer voice telling the students to pursue screenwriting not because they expect to “win the lottery” – make a million dollar script sale – but because they really love to write screenplays. After all, if you spend most of your time writing screenplays, that is your life. Why would you want your life to consist of something you didn’t want to be doing?
In point of fact, most of the screenplays that screenwriters write are never produced. More than most. So how is knowing that your work is very unlikely to be produced different from knowing that it will never be produced?
Answer number one: Hope. Faith. Belief.
Who knew that screenwriting was such a religious experience?