The following is an excerpt from a Go Into The Story interview with Scott Myers and Shut In screenwriters TJ Cimfel (@TeaJaySee) and David White (@dkwite).:
DW: I don’t want to sound like I’m saying it’s a bad idea to move [from Chicago to L.A.] because for most it’s probably the right decision. But for me specifically, I have a job here that allows me significant time to write, and that’s the most important thing. I don’t know if I could find that in LA.
TJ: Yeah. What it comes down to is, if you’re committed to making it work, you can make it work from anywhere. You just have to be prepared that there are going to be extra obstacles if you’re not in Los Angeles. As long as you make your peace with that, and you have somebody who’s working with you and for you, who has made their peace with that, that’s a wonderful thing.
From that standpoint, it’s funny because that’s probably one of the first questions when you do the small talk when you have a general meeting with somebody is, “So… You guys are from Chicago? How’s that work for you?”
Yet, they usually wind up finishing with, “Well, I guess you can write from anywhere.” That’s the truth. At the end of the day, that’s really the number one thing. That’s the value that we’re bringing to people is through our writing, not through our proximity.
This is a drum I’ve been beating since 2008 when I was inspired by Diablo Cody’s success. She wrote her first screenplay in off work hours while living in Minneapolis—just a few years removed from graduating from the University of Iowa the Chicago native won an Academy Award for that Juno script. (And while Cody did move to LA, her best work to date was still pounded out between her home and a Starbucks in the suburbs of Minneapolis.)
Of course you can write from anywhere—but the great thing about Cody, Cimfel, and White is they show your screenplays can also get produced. And I should add that one thing I’ve learned over the years is if you’re going to write outside of New York and LA, then having some kind of greater Chicago roots doesn’t hurt.
Screenwriting da Chicago Way (2.0)
Why You Shouldn’t Move to L.A.
Why You Should Move to L.A.
‘Keep Your Head Down’
Juno Has Another Baby (Emmy) “Don’t ever agonize about the hordes of other writers who are ostensibly your competition. No one else is capable of doing what you do.”—Diablo Cody
The 99% Focus Rule
Scott W. Smith
Read Full Post »