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Updated Sept 5, 2005

Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

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This week's question: 

 I'm thinking about giving up screenwriting altogether and taking up bird watching instead.  What do you think, DcH?

Glenn from New York

This week's Answer: 


I think that's an excellent, idea, Glenn.  Yours truly dabbled in the wonderful world of ornithology (I remember it well as though it were yesterday:  We (all us ornithologists) would all rise before dawn and be in their natural habitat, seeking out those wonderful creatures, the orns).  I mean, "birds."  We'd seek out our feathered friends.  It was such fun and extremely educational -- even if it was sleep-depriving.  And we ornithologists would  learn how to identify them by their voices, the way they'd do their bird calls (which is understandable since they were birds).

My path was different from yours, Glenn.  I thought about giving up bird watching, altogether.   (I mean, come on.  How many times can you get up in the dark, freezing your bird-watching toes off, and so bleary-eyed that you put your pants on inside-out and wear them like a jacket?  And if I hear one more whippoorwill, I'm going to grab the little thing and wring its... Ahem... Now, where was I?  Oh, yes.)  I thought about giving up bird watching altogether, which I did.  

And took up screenwriting.

You may find bird watching quite similar to some aspects of the screenwriter's career.  Like a birdwatcher, I use my binoculars often to spot producers who take early walks before heading to the studio or office.  And, as with bird watching, you learn to identify the specific sounds associated with producers such as the humming of the engines of their BMW's, Rolls, Porsches, etc.  It's a fascinating study that leads one into new and exciting places.  (It's fortunate I have a good lawyer).

Some of my friends and therapists think that I've gone a little bit too far, but I've always lived by this famous and wise saying:

The early screenwriter catches the producer.



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