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Writer Jack Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1969. On Monday I drove by the last house he lived and took a photo. Neither the photo or the house or anything special, but it was something that I felt compelled to do after receiving my master’s degree from USF, St. Petersburg the day before. (I was drawn to Kerouac’s writing when I was 20-something because he was the first writer that I knew that had a football background.)

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The Last House Jack Kerouac Lived In

There are a lot of homes and hotels in St. Petersburg that are special because they reflect that fine era of the 1920s & 30s.

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Private Residence

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The Vinoy Renaissance Resort in St. Petersburg

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The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach

St. Petersburg is also special to me because it’s where my father’s remains are buried in Bay Pine Cemetery, so I made a stop there on Monday as well.

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Bay Pines National Cemetery

The nice thing about being in St. Petersburg in December is you get to experience a taste of Christmas St. Petersburg style.

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St. Pete Santa

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Nothing Quite Says Christmas Like a Rhino with a Wreath

In Tampa, the Oxford Exchange is also decorated for the holidays…

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Oxford Exchange in Tampa

…and it’s where I picked up my first pair of Warby Parker glasses. Look for them in the video I hope to begin releasing in early 2019.

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Demo Pair of the Sullivan Frames in Saltwater Matte

Of course, the tie-in here is the Warby Parker name is pulled from some names that Jack Kerouac wrote. Overall I had a whirlwind weekend in the Tampa Bay area to finish two years of chipping away on my M.A.

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Go Bulls! (Fall Graduation 2018) 

P.S. Post-Thanksgiving I was pushing to finish a final project and final paper so my blog posts were sporadic—but starting tomorrow I’ll get back on the bull and finish the year strong with some help from the late William Goldman.

Scott W. Smith

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This photo’s from yesterday’s graduation at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, Florida. Two years ago I began the process of pursuing an M.A. in Digital Journalism and Design. It gave me a chance to not only work on my book based on this blog but begin producing some short teaching videos on a broad range of topics related to content creating—more on that in 2019.

After seeing some college professor positions looking for a person with significant production experience and a master’s degree, I thought it was time to fill in the M.A. section on my resume. We’ll see where it all leads.

P.S. Most of my fellow students weren’t even born yet when I earned my undergraduate degree in film—so let that encourage those of you contemplating going back to school later in life. ( The oldest person graduating yesterday at USF, St. Petersburg was a woman who earned her B.A. at  68-years-old.)

ScottW. Smith 

 

It’s funny, [my quote] ‘nobody knows anything’ has caught on—and what I meant by it was nobody has the least idea what will work. I mean, the big movie that’s opening this weekend is Sex in the City 2—the first one was a freak hit and people loved it, and now they’ve done the sequel. (And sequels are whore’s movies, the only reason to do sequels is to make money.) And nobody has the least idea if it’s going to be a phenomenal  success or if it’s going to tank.”
William Goldman
Writers Guild Foundation interview from 2010

“Let me tell you the super story that Cliff Robertson told me a dozen years ago, and I think I’m giving the credit properly. It was a story he had been told by Rosalind Russell. I think he met her during the filming of Picnic. She said, ‘Do you know what makes a good movie?’ And he answered something like, ‘I don’t know—good script, good actors, good cameraman, and good directors, etc., etc.’ ‘No,’ she said, ‘ A couple of moments that people remember, that they can take with them, is what makes a good movie.’”
William Goldman (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, The Princess Bride)
The Craft of the Screenwriter
Interview with John Brady
page 149

Note: I originally posted this quote in 2009 under the title Screenwriting Quote of the Day #118.

Scott W. Smith

“When I started [my film career] there weren’t film schools. I never saw in my life— not even for a second—I never saw a screenplay until I was 33-years-old. And a lot of kids [today] are finished with their careers when they’re 33, because they’ve been to film school, they got their first movie done when they were 23 or 25, and now that they’re 33 they’re directors or whatever else. When I first hear of film schools I thought it was the stupidest f—— idea I’d ever heard of.  Why would anybody—because we fell in love with movies going to the LCN theater in my little town in Illinois. You went to the movies and they were wonderful. And now movies are important, which they never were when I was a kid.”
2-time Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman (All the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid)
Writers Guild Foundation 2010 Interview 

Scott W. Smith

 

When I began [writing Game of Thrones], I didn’t know what the hell I had. I thought it might be a short story; it was just this chapter, where they find these direwolf pups. Then I started exploring these families and the world started coming alive. It was all there in my head, I couldn’t not write it. So it wasn’t an entirely rational decision, but writers aren’t entirely rational creatures.”
George RR Martin
The Guardian article by Alison Flood

“I’m a fast writer. Maybe not the best, but the fastest.”
Stan Lee

RollingStone printed a “Lost” Q&A with Stan Lee and here’s an excerpt that gives you a glimpse of how quickly ideas for the comic books featuring X-Men, Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man. Books in the Marvel universe that became the foundations for movies that made billions of dollars at the box office.

Brian Haiatt: Someone asked Bob Dylan, how did you write all those 1960s songs in a short period? And he looked back, and even he doesn’t quite know how he did it. Do you feel the same way?

Stan Lee: No, I know how I did it. I was very lucky, it came really easily to me. Once I knew who the villain was, and if I had already established the main characters, which you only had to do once, then writing the story didn’t take that long. It took a little less than a day. You know, I’d wake up in the morning, I’d talk to my wife for a while, and read the paper, and then I’d start writing, and by dinner time it was over, and I had done the book.

I don’t know if Stan Lee had any superhero powers, but he sure got a lot done on some days. In that interview Lee said of his ideas for the comic books, “Usually a day is all any of them took.”

P.S. Of the $24 billion that Marvel movies have made, one of them was this year’s top-grossing film The Black Panther, which alone made 1.3 billion worldwide. Lee created that character with Jack Kirby in 1966.

Scott W. Smith

 

 

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