The First Taste of Success – careful what you wish for:
(a) “I’ve seen a lot of writers who have gotten that first big break, and then they have gone off and partied and hung out and gone to lunch with everybody in town. Six months later, they’ve been having lunches and they haven’t done the work. It’s very important to keep doing the work, because you’re a writer. That is now your career…. And then I’ve seen people who have a lot of success act like, you know, they’re the Second Coming – and they never are.”
(b) “Having a movie come out, first of all, takes the monkey off your back. No matter what happens to you the rest of your life, you made a movie. When you’re trying to get there, that’s a big cloud over your head. You want to have something that’s concrete evidence of all the work you’ve put in. So the psychological aspect of completing your goal is great.
Once you get produced, then you’re like ‘Well, that’s not good enough. I need two produced.’ You create a consumption mentality, and the way I stopped that mentality was to focus on what I loved. If I write something that people don’t respond to, despite my best efforts, then that’s just where the chips fall. I think it’s really about being on a path that’s authentic to you.”
(c) “With my early deals, there was such insane scrutiny. The numbers were very large. I got this mixed-bag reaction from people, which I didn’t expect. Some writers were very angry. I wanted to be invisible and vanish from the equation, and not be accountable for the money I was making. I just wrote the story… I just wanted to disappear and become again a guy who wrote stories.”
Excerpted with quotes from (a) Andrew W. Marlowe & (b) Joe Forte & (c) Shane Black
Tales from the Script (2010)