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Posts Tagged ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’

When the Sylvia Nasar biography A Beautiful Mind, the story of  John Nash, was brought to the screen it was a giant of a creative team that created a beautiful movie.

It not only earned Russell Crowe, who played John Nash, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, but at the 2002 Academy Awards it won four awards; Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jennifer Connely), Best Director (Ron Howard), Best Picture (Ron Howard & Brian Grazer) and Best Writing, Screenplay based on Material Previously Produced (Akiva Goldsman).

Screenwriter Goldsman is another case of taking the long and winding road to success. With an MFA from NYU Goldsman spent 10 years as a failed novelist (his words) before turning to screenwriting. But one of his first nominations wasn’t the good kind. He was nominated for worst script by the Golden Raspberry Awards (Razzies) for his Batman & Robin script.

These days Goldsman is reported to have been paid $4 million to write the sequel to the Da Vinci Code making him one of the highest paid screenwriters in Hollywood. In the introduction of The Shooting Script; A Beautiful Mind,  published by Newmarket press, Goldsman touches on what it took for him to write an Academy Award winning film:

“I’ll skip the writing part, except to say, I used about a million packs of cigarettes, a thousand pots of coffee, several hundred cans of tuna eaten over the sink, and my whole heart.”

Akiva Goldsman, Introduction in
                                                                       The Shooting Script; A Beautiful Mind
                                                                       Newmarket Press

It’s hard to do anything with your whole heart for five minutes, much less write an entire script that way. Think about what it means to do something with your whole heart. The image that comes to mind for me is of triathlete Julie Moss who became famous (as well as the sport itself) when she collapsed (while in the lead) toward the end of the 1982 Ironman competition and crawled the last 100 yards to the finish line.

Copyright 2009 Scott W. Smith

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