Friday, August 06, 2010

Interview with Alex Litvak, part three

The thing about writing blogs is, nobody reminds you that you forgot to post something some days.

Anyway, here is part three, the final piece of my interview with Alex Litvak.

Part one

Part two

“The days of people buying screenplays as a favor are over,” Alex Litvak said during our interview. These days, if you want to sell a spec script, “You have to write. It’s hard but you have to do it.”

He said that if you write something good, eventually you will be read. Litvak navigated his way through the studio system by developing other people’s projects, so he had plenty of opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t. “Be aware of who your audience is and what the marketplace is,” he said. “And don’t listen to all that bullshit about ‘write what you know.’”

So what does work? Wall-E. Toy Story 3. Litvak was blown away by Toy Story 3, and a part of him wishes he could have written it. And Inception. The film has flaws, he said, but the beauty of what is on that screen is undeniable. Litvak’s eyes lit up as he described how even in the middle of noticing the details that didn’t quite work, he couldn’t help but feel a little awed by the film itself.

But these aren’t your typical action pictures Litvak has made a name for himself writing. He loves action, and Predator, but has desires to write in other genres too, like romantic comedies.

"Don't let someone tell you you have to be an action writer," he said. He was talking about me at the time, but the truth is, Alex Litvak does not like being told what he can and cannot do in any situation.

“Movies are no great artistry,” he said. “There’s just great moments that come from the heart.”

In the end, here’s what you need to know about Alex Litvak: He’s sarcastic, funny, realistic and not an asshole, but he will not bullshit you, and he will not agree with you to be polite. He also does not like Salt, which made this writer a little sad.

Also, he got where he is by working, listening, and not being afraid to ask questions. His biggest advice to me was to be confident in my abilities and fight through the fear of being a nobody in a land of somebodies.

After all, a year ago, he was just another executive guy. Today Milla Jovovich is reading his words on camera. It’s not such a bad place to be.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating stuff, inspiring for a newbie like me. Thanks from down under :)


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