Sunday, October 26, 2014

Interview with Damien Chazelle, Director of "Whiplash"

From my recent interview:

GITS: Now before you wrote the first draft, when and how did you first start prepping the story?

DC: I remember I got the initial idea, and then a few weeks later I was sitting in a movie theater. A movie was playing that—I won’t name which one—but I was utterly bored out of my mind. I decided I didn’t want to pay attention about fifteen minutes in, but I didn’t walk out because I was with somebody. Also I hate walking out of movies, I tend not to do it.

So I just decided to use it as thinking time. I started thinking through the structure and the story, and I beat out the basic plot beats during the hour and a half of that movie. Then I started writing. So the whole thing was pretty organic, compared to other scripts I’ve written that required a Herculean effort. This was from the gut.

GITS: Ten days is pretty incredible.

DC: Well, don’t get me wrong. If you could have seen that first draft—it read like a ten day draft.

Read the rest at Go Into The Story, a great blog hosted by the incredible Scott Myers. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The Breaking Bad pilot script is worth coming back to again and again. That teaser, with Walt in his underwear? How well it evokes suburban sprawl? Beautiful. This time, though, I was struck by the way Vince Gilligan uses sound effects. It's a great tool to keep in the bag, so here are a few examples:

1. ". . .ZOOOM! WHEELS plow right through the shit with a SPLAT."

2.  "...Walt's finger stick to the surface. They pull loose with a slow, gluey SLURP."

3. "...a blood pressure cuff gets pumped with a WHOOSH-WHOOSH-WHOOSH;"

3. "SQUEAK-SQUEAK, SQUEAK-SQUEAK. Walt thumps up and down on his cheapie stair-stepper."

That's just from the first two acts. It's written with glee. It's not self-serious. It sounds like a guy describing something to a buddy at a bar--not dressed up for the written word. I guess what I'm taking away from this is: don't be afraid to throw down a good old fashioned SPLAT. It's suburban calligraphy.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I'm alive

I'm alive, I'm coming back from the NYFF soon, with a complete update to follow.