“You write your first draft with your heart. And you rewrite with your head.”
William Forrester (Sean Connery) in Finding Forrester
Written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van Sant (both who are based in Portland, Oregon)
“It helps to live in LA, but it’s not imperative. I was living in Portland, Oregon when I got my first break (“Finding Forrester”), and given the fact we had three kids, my wife and I really wanted to stay here. We’ve made it work ever since, though it’s certainly a double-edged knife. On the plus side, we get to live in Portland, a city I’ve loved since my college days. On the minus side of things, general meetings and pitch sessions require a trip to LA; sometimes lasting several days. Oftentimes, the general meetings outnumber the pitches, simply because there’s so much turnover within the industry. Familiar faces you’ve worked with in the past don’t always stick around, and I find myself constantly meeting new folks who will make the decision on whether a project moves forward.
Screenwriter Mike Rich (Finding Forrester, Secretariat)
Do You Have To Live In L.A. To Make It As A Screenwriter? by Alfredo
P.S. That Mike Rich quote is the perfect way to celebrate the 1,400th post today on Screenwriting from Iowa…and Other Unlikely Places. As I’ve said before on this blog, Iowa is a metaphor. A place far from the core. It could be Iowa or Ojai . West Des Moines, West Africa, West Covina—or West Portland. Most importantly, it’s not where you live but what you write. Rich got his first break when he won a Nichol Fellowship in 1998 for his script Finding Forrester.
Below is a WordPress summary map that shows where readers of this blog are located. And while I only have one view in places like Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, and Gambia—it almost covers the globe. And these are just the 2012 numbers. Thanks for reading, and may you keep on writing wherever you live.