September 1, 2008
First, this Wednesday, that show SONS OF ANARCHY premieres on F/X. I discovered that Naomi and I were both Quite Excited about it when I said “Um, so… have you seen that clip where Katey Segal says something about how men take care of business and her son goes “Yeah, we do”?” and then we made excited noises and talked about the super-fantastic part where the cop goes “I won’t look the other way” and the biker says “We’re all free men, protected by the Constitution”.
(THAT PART IS AWESOME.)
Um, I am maybe not explaining that in a way that lets you understand how GREAT it is, so, here’s the clip:
I finally finished watching that documentary Dreams on Spec. I, er, kind of had to take a break while I was finishing my draft because it was making me sad and annoyed. I’m always so torn about things like artists following their bliss, because on the one hand, I really do believe that that’s important and what you should do. But then on the other hand, I also get kind of MAN, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU’RE WRITING AN APPALACHIAN COMING OF AGE DRAMA AND YOU THINK IT’S GOING TO SET THE WORLD ON FIRE?!?
A lot of Real Writers show up to give us advice as the film progresses (Carrie Fisher! Can we hang out? You are so rad. The part about how writing on-set is like “combat writing” was the best.) and one of them was Gary Ross. Here was a piece of his advice that I actually, uh, NERDALERT, transcribed. Because it’s just that good:
“I think that it’s very easy to kind of “give it away”: give the definition of success away. Empower other people in determining whether or not you have talent. And here’s the Catch-22: the more you do that, the less you’ll be able to write. That’s the hard thing. Because writing is all about preservation and strength and authority in your own voice. See, if you give that voice away by guessing what you think, or what you think, or what you think as you go, you’re gonna have less to say, and less to be able to write about, and less of an authoritative voice. And then it goes away.”
Also, Gary Ross is really really ridiculously good-looking. Like, BLUE STEEL good-looking. It makes me feel kind of skeptical! He’s a screenwriter! Can’t he at least be balding and wearing an apologetic baseball cap? Geez.
I can only imagine his early meetings! The executive was probably all “Why is that ACTOR sitting outside my office?!? Is he lost?” and the assistant said “No, um, that’s Gary Ross, you know… you have a meeting with him in two minutes? He’s a screenwriter?” and then I imagine the executive scoffing loudly and feeling insecure about his hair.