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Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

The deep rooted theme of this blog is embedded in the title—Screenwriting from Iowa … and Other Unlikely Places. Here are a couple of quotes from two recent Oscar winners about telling stories from unlikely places (at least from a Hollywood, Oscar-winning perspective):

“Because I’m based in Seoul, I wanted to tell the story about people around me in neighborhoods that I encounter on a daily basis. That’s where the thought began. I wanted to sort of delve deeper into the reality that surrounds me, as if I’m looking at it through a microscope—something smaller but also deeper.”
Writer/director Bong Joon-Ho (on his Oscar-winning film Parasite)
GQ interview with Gabriella Pailella  

“I think what it all comes down to is putting the power back into the people the hands of the people who own on those stories. So I think the only way you can tell an authentic story from a particular place is to get someone from that place. Someone who knows that content and knows the culture to tell it. I fully support the idea of getting Indigenous people to tell their stories.”
Oscar winning Jo-Jo Rabbit writer/ director Taika Waititi 
A filmmaker from New Zealand whose ancestry includes Maori and Ashkenazi Jewish cultures

Scott W. Smith

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“You need to have a lot of perseverance and persistence in order to get things through, which was certainly true for The Theory of Everything.”
Producer/screenwriter Anthony McCarten
(Who said he worked on The Theory of Everything “more or less, for 10 years.”)

Oscar-nominated and  BAFTA-winning screenwriter Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) started his writing career as a journalist with a small newspaper in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Along his writing journey the 53-year-old has written plays, novels and TV programs.

“When I left university, I tried making it as a poet for a while, but there was no money in poetry. So, I turned up at an unemployment office and they said, ‘We have no positions for poets at the moment, but can you act?’ I said yes, of course, but it was a complete lie. And I found myself performing a reduced Shakespeare for schools. This threw me into the world of actors and opened a door for me to write a play. It’s how I morphed from someone who wrote poems to someone who wrestled with plot and structure and character and movement and so forth.

“I was 10 years into being a playwright and, during that time, nurtured a desire to write a novel. While I was developing my skills as a novelist, opportunities arose where I was asked if I would be happy to turn my novels into movies. And that returned me to my first love, which was TV, and the stories I grew up watching in black and white.”
Anthony McCarten
MovieMaker interview with Mark Sells

Related posts:
“I can’t keep handling this…rejection” Advice from a now Oscar-winning screenwriter.
Perseverance (Werner Herzog)
Tennessee Williams on ‘Apparent Failure’
Bob DeRosa’s ‘Shortcuts’
How to Become a Successful Screenwriter “I think every writer harbors—secretly or not-so-secretly—delusions of grandeur.” Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (whose own writing journey echoes McCarten’s—Perseverance & Persistence).

Scott W. Smith

 

 

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