Writing for Hollywood – Stuart Hazeldine Event

Stuhd What an incredible seminar we had last night with Stuart Hazeldine. I think it was one of the very best we have ever held. Stuart talked for two hours about being a professional writer for Hollywood. His insights were candid, entertaining, practical and pragmatic, but most of all, extremely inspiring. I am delighted that we made the effort to record the event, and that Stuart was also good enough to allow us to share this recording with the world (it will take us some time to get it tidied and edited, but watch this space). So you will get the chance to hear it all in due course…

There was so much discussed, it’s impossible to get it all in here, but a few points that resonated with me would be…

Stuart loved ‘Blade Runner’, so without any contract, commitment, even any kind of legal clearance, he went ahead and wrote a sequel (he also wrote a spec script for Alien 4). While some may think this a crazy strategy, and while the film never happened, Stuart shared that of all the scripts he ever wrote, that one generated five times more heat in LA. So while he never sold it, it was a great way of getting into the room as a real player.

Stuart also talked about something that is close to my heart too – which is all about getting as close as you can to the completed film on the page, doing all your work upfront so you don’t have to fix it on set or in post. He shared that on the Nic Cage script he just wrote, when he got the green light and the shoot date, that shifted a gear in his mind and he knew he had to tackle all the stuff in the script that was being left for later… In a few weeks time there would be no later! As writers, I think we can lazily hold onto our favourite moments and scenes that will, in fact, get ditched later. So deal with it now. Stuart talked about how he enjoyed taking five pages out of any script and how it almost always improves it. As he said, 80% of work for the 10,000 writers in Hollywood is actually rewriting, where previous writers had been unable to ‘nail it’. That’s a lot of potential work.

As soon as we get chance to get this podcast up, I will let you know – it’s really worth two hours one evening.

Onward and upward!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author

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