Archive for the ‘Off Screen Quotes’ Category

”It’s sad, this is my last downhill, I wish I could keep going. I have so much fun, I love what I do…but my body can’t take another four years.”
Downhill racer Lindsey Vonn

Last night I caught Lindsey Vonn’s final downhill run at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. It was great to see her end with a Bronze medal it what is most likely her last Olympics. At 33 she is already the oldest female Alpine skier to ever medal at the winter games. She’d won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympics and then missed the 2014 Olympics because of various injuries.

Here’s a video of one of Vonn’s worst accidents. I never get tired of sports stories of athletes overcoming the odds (and often crushing injuries) to bounce back and accomplish great things in their sport.

And speaking of downhill skiing, here’s a trailer from Downhill Racer starring Robert Redford from a script by James Salter. (The 1969 film is part of The Criterion Collection.)

P.S. Back in ’87 when I was a 16mm camera operator and editor I shot a downhill skiing event in Aspen, Colorado. I think it was my first real gig after graduating from film school. Love that sport.


Scott W. Smith

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“Success isn’t something that just happens – success is learned, success is practiced and then it is shared.” 
Sparky Anderson

A few years ago I drove through Bridgewater, South Dakota on one of my road trips to who knows where and saw a sign that said, “Hometown of Sparky Anderson.” It was a fine moment, and his story is an echo of one of the major themes of this blog—that talent comes from everywhere (even if they were born during the Depression). What good can come from Bridgewater—population 492?

I’d put the name Sparky Anderson down as one of the greatest sounding names of the 20th century. He wasn’t a screenwriter, but a professional baseball player and manager. Despite only playing in the major leagues one season and having a poor lifetime batting average (.218) he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. How? He found success by putting together great teams.

In fact, he is one of only two managers who won a World Series in both the National and American Leagues. He first came on my radar when I was a kid when he managed the Cincinnati Reds. The powerhouse team known as The Big Red Machine with Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and gang.

I can’t believe I’d never seen that quote until today when Namita Kabilas posted it on Twitter—@NamitaKablis. (I hate posting quotes without original sources so if you know where that quote came from let me know.) It’s a good one—and worth repeating again and again.

“Success isn’t something that just happens – success is learned, success is practiced and then it is shared.” 
Sparky Anderson

Related posts:

Tinker Field: A Love Letter (and where I saw The Big Red Machine play)
Burns, Baseball, Flawed Characters
Screenwriting, Baseball & Underdog (2.0)
Baseball, Bergman & Bull Durham
Screenwriting, Baseball and Underdogs
Postcard #84 (Spring Training)
Screenwriting & Pete Rose

Scott W. Smith

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“In Hollywood people are nice to you just in the first week after the [Academy Award] ceremony. Then they are like, ‘Oh, you just won an Oscar, right?’ Three weeks after the big party people are already thinking about the next year’s Oscars. Life goes on. Winning an Oscar is an honor, but, between you and me, it does not makes things easier.”
Oscar-winner Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting)
1998 Interview in Veja magazine with Ruben Edwald Filho via Forbes

Related Post:
The Breaking of Peter Bogdanovich —”Orson [Welles] had this line: ‘The terrible thing about LA is that you sit down when you’re 25 and when you stand up you’re 62.’ He was not wrong.” Director Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show)

Scott W. Smith

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“[Death of a Salesman] really seeps into why we’re here. What are we doing, family, work, friends, hopes, dreams, careers, what’s happiness, what’s success, what does it mean, is it important, how do you get it? It really does seep into all those areas. ”
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)
2012 NPR interview about his Broadway role playing Willy Loman 

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There are many layers to Jackie Robinson’s life story, but here’s a quote from him that at first doesn’t seem inspirational but I think fits this blog well:

“In those days [1941] no major football or basketball clubs hired black players. The only job offered me [after a great athletic career at UCLA] was with the Honolulu Bears, and when I reported there I got a job with a construction company headquartered near Pearl Harbor. I worked for them during the week and played football on Sundays with my first pro team, the Bears. They were not major league, but they were integrated. The football season ended in November and I wanted to get back to California. I arranged for ship passage and left Honolulu on December 5, 1941, two days before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.”
Jackie Robinson
I Never Had it Made 

Before Jackie Robinson went on to greatness, he is a fine example of somebody who did what he could, with what he had, where he was.

Related Posts: The First Black Feature Filmmaker
“One of the greatest tasks of my life has been to teach that the colored man can be anything,”
Filmmaker Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951)

Scott W. Smith 

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“When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.”
Steve Jobs (Former CEO of Apple)
Wired magazine (1996)
Steve Jobs: The Next Insanely Great Thing
 by Gary Wolf

Kickstarter campaign update: Only four days to go for you to help Screenwriting from Iowa…and Other UnlikelyPlacesbecome a book.

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“She was known and loved universally as Gertrude Stein, born at Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1874, now rests in the cemetery of Pere Lachaise at Paris, along with Balzac, Oscar Wilde, Daumier, Beaumachais, Delacroix, Brillat-Savarin, and countless other writers, painters, and musicians.”
Bruce Kellner
Baby Woojums in Iowa 

Watching Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Kathy Bates’ performance of Gertrude Stein reminded me of a Stein quote that I have been familiar with ever since I moved to Iowa in 2003, but had never found a place to drop it in. So it’s now or never.

“You are brilliant and subtle if you come from Iowa and really strange and you live as you live and you are always well taken care of if you come from Iowa.”
Gertrude Stein
Everybody’s Autobiography (1937)

Gertrude Stein never actually stepped foot in Iowa. She had plan to give a lecture in Iowa City, but was prevented because of a snow storm. But undoubtedly she had met Iowans in her circle of writers and artists. Perhaps her quote was simply a reference to writer and photographer Carl Van Vechten who was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and who met Stein in Paris in 1913.

Scott W. Smith

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