I recently had the pleasure/privilege of seeing a talk by the screenwriter John Logan (no relation to Johnny Logan, who won the Eurovision Song Contest a while back).
Is he any good? Well, he wrote this:
And even this:
So yes, he’s about as good as it gets.
He was an excellent speaker: loquacious, informative, engaging, energetic and a strange mixture of humble and self-aggrandising (difficult not to be the latter with that CV).
But what can I pass on from my learnings?
1. Ego, credit, pissing contests… none of them matter. The only thing that matters is ‘Does it work?’
2. If you want to be a great writer you have to read the progression of drama from Aristotle to Shakespeare to Brecht to Shaw etc.
3. He did his degree then spent ten years shelving books in a library, writing plays that were not seen by many. Then he wrote his first screenplay, which was Any Given Sunday. So you can start late, so long as you’ve been paying your dues in the meantime.
4. Don’t be afraid of the big line. Write, ‘On my signal, unleash hell’, but get right behind it if you do.
5. The director is not God. Get in there and talk to the actors.
6. People only want to see Coriolanus because it has ‘anus’ in the title.
Thanks, John. I look forward to the next Bond Film.