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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Craig Mazin blogs about why screenwriting is a young man's game. He points out that he is a better writer at 36 than he was at 25, but as you get older, and you have a family, it gets harder to work the long hours, and anyway, it gets harder to suck up all the disrespect.

I think there's something else. At 36, Craig is still loving writing the Scary Movie sequels. As I get older, I find myself less and less interested in watching a broad swath of popular entertainment. For example, I can't watch a hero shoot a bunch of minions without thinking how much trouble the minion's parents went to raise them; and now they're dead. Silly, I know. As I become a more thoughtful person (from an admittedly low baseline), I find it harder to enjoy thoughtless entertainment. I lose patience with shows like Lost that I suspect aren't going anywhere. If I'm going to watch a show where people get tortured, I want it to be in a political context that speaks to the real world, as in the cleverly transgressive Sleeper Cell, not in a right wing revenge fantasy like 24.

What you don't enjoy, you can't write well.

Fortunately I am not too thoughtful. I am loving rewriting my medieval zombie picture (though there is a suspiciously high amount of theme in it). And if I'm successful enough, then I can just hire younger writers to be thoughtless for me...

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Now there is a goal that I can get behind- being successful enough to hire someone to be thoughtless for me ;)

By Blogger Hawise, at 12:32 PM  

Maybe my own proximity to aged mo-fo status has me opposing Craig's premise -- but if we follow his logic there would be no airline pilots over 40, no heart surgeons, no statesmen.

It's also interesting that he uses baseball players as an example. The truth about baseball is that a lot of guys have their stats go South in their 20's, merely as a testament to other teams beginning to read what they're going to do in a particular situation and countering those decisions.

I always figured hollywood didn't like writers over 40 because they don't fall for as much of the BS.

And you, Alex, have proven how much better writers get with age. Most new guys would just copy the Zombie movies they've seen instead of rethink them in a medieval setting? Cool idea. When can I read it?

By Blogger jimhenshaw, at 7:33 PM  

Great post!

Oh, and your medieval zombie picture that actually has a theme? I'm already in line for a ticket!

By Blogger Helena Handbasket, at 1:09 AM  

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