INTERVIEW ARCHIVE: David Ayer Talks TRAINING DAY and DARK BLUE

This interview originally appeared in Screenwriter's Monthly Magazine in April 2003

December 14th, 2014

in Interviews

David Ayer looks more like the guy his characters would arrest than the guy who wrote about the characters. With a shaved head and goatee, he fits the gangster stereotype. Talking to him, though, reveals a man of ambition and intellect. After a successful script doctoring career and after writing the script that gave Denzel Washington his Oscar for Training Day, Ayer took on another sort of corrupt cop story, Dark Blue.

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SOME ADVICE ON PITCHING

December 13th, 2014

in Articles

Writers at different stages in their careers will pitch under different circumstances. An “A” list writer can pitch just an idea in a room with the hope of walking out with a deal. New writers might be pitching a completed screenplay at a pitch festival with the hope someone offers to read the script. A query letter is a kind of pitch, but “pitching” itself usually refers to a verbal presentation.

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Three Screenplays every Screenwriter Should Read

December 7th, 2014

in News

The best way to improve your craft is to read the screenplays of produced movies. You don't always have to read scripts to the best movies to learn something. Even flawed stories sometimes had wonderful or good intentioned screenplays.

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A Look Back at The Bad and the Beautiful and Looking into the Future of Your Collaborations

December 5th, 2014

in Articles

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Tips by a Hollywood Insider on how to Write a Successful Query Letter

November 24th, 2014

in Articles

There’s really no right or wrong in Hollywood, but based on reading a zillion query letters, here’s some suggestions when undertaking a letter writing campaign.

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Confessions of a "Sometimes" Procrastinating Screenwriter

November 20th, 2014

in Op/Ed

First let me stop writing the script I am currently working on so I can pound out this short editorial. Though I should say allow me to stop bleeding at the keyboard as I struggle with the current scene I am writing. I have to admit that I am my own worst enemy as a writer.  I procrastinate, often, and it can sometimes be so debilitating that I never finish some screenplays. Why?

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10 Questions with INSURGENT & JANE GOT A GUN Screenwriter Brian Duffield

Screenwriter Interview Series

November 16th, 2014

in Interviews

Pennsylvania-born writer Brian Duffield first broke onto the scene in 2010 when his spec script YOUR BRIDESMAID IS A BITCH made the Black List and sold to Skydance. Recently Duffield was honored as one of the top 10 screenwriters to watch in Hollywood. Not one to rest on his laurels, Duffield has been writing non-stop since then  including the upcoming films INSURGENT and JANE GOT A GUN. He also hopes to make his directorial debut next year with the horror-romance VIVIEN HASN’T BEEN HERSELF LATELY.  Oh, and Brian also recently got married. Fortunately for SU, Duffield took time out of his busy schedule to talk career, life, love, death, taxes, Obama, marriage...

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“Happy Delusion:” An Interview with Theodore Melfi, Writer/Director of ST. VINCENT

October 9th, 2014

in Interviews

I’ve known Ted for a while. But for most people he is one of those 10 years in the making overnight success stories that writers need to hear about. Ted didn’t write his first script, send it out, sell it, and magically appear on stage with Bill Murray on the opening night of his movie. He struggled and toiled for many years. Yet, he might actually dispute the word “toiled” as he has an infectious positivity – what he calls his “Happy Delusion.” Those who know him say Ted is someone you want to work with, almost have to work with because there is something about him that seems, well, Normal. Real. And apparently, in Hollywood, that is unusual! Go figure.

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Seven Lessons from Bob Nelson's NEBRASKA Screenplay

March 16th, 2014

in Script Reviews

The Oscar nominated movie NEBRASKA, with an award winning screenplay by Bob Nelson, is in my opinion one of the better scripts recently produced for screenwriters to learn a little something about the craft. Why? It’s the epitome of efficient and dramatic storytelling. The script is pithy, direct, yet it has depth and emotion (theme) that is so subtle in its presentation. 

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