What prompted you to start a YouTube series where you will write on a regular basis?
Oh, do you know that? I didn’t think anyone knew about it. Let me tell you, I don’t know what I got myself into. I write all the time, sometimes I write 10 scripts a year or so, and that’s a trait above all else. I thought, Well, why not record it once? It’s not for everyone, but some people might find it worthwhile.
I find people who have never done it before, they can’t understand what it means (to write a script). It’s like people don’t diet. They say, “I want to lose 15 pounds,” but they don’t know how long it will take. They work hard anyway for a month, but then they say, “Okay, I don’t know how long it’s going to take.” Putting it in the people’s box will help some people say, “I can do it this time. This is something I can put my arms around. This is something I can do. holidays, a two-week vacation or a three-week vacation a year. I can do it. As opposed to, “Will it take me a year?” or “Will it take me two years?” Which I think will scare a lot of people away.
That’s why I do it. At the same time, I suddenly think, “Why did I do this? Why did I sign up for this?” But it’s an interesting experiment, and I’m going to make this movie. There’s a lot to do between now and then, but I’m going to do it. I want to take everyone on this journey. I want to include them in writing this, but also in my agent, in the city, in the directors and actors, in the studio, in the directors, in the memos, in every email, every phone call. I want to include everyone. If we get to that part, it should be pretty interesting.
You break the structure of the film like a powder keg. First act, you fill it with gunpowder. I won’t murder the rest, but have you always approached scripts with this mindset?
I’m glad you asked. The most important thing is the structure. That’s the only important thing, but the irony is that it doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as structure. Structure, in a universe without human beings, if a tree falls in the forest and no one sees if it fell? Well, if a dog is looking at a script, is there structure? No, it’s not. This is something we do as human beings. Movies are meant to please people, and only people. If the alien were watching a movie like, “What the fuck is this? It’s not pleasant at all. It’s taking too long or going too fast.” Literally in this viral petri dish, Hollywood has created this art form that, in the most commercial sense, affects people in the most volatile ways possible.
So that’s what structure is, but it doesn’t really exist. To talk about the first act, second act or third act is a convenient way of talking about it. The bones of these things really exist. You cannot mathematically prove the existence of the first act. I like to think about it in always emotional terms. Everything is an emotion. That’s why I use the powder keg concept. It’s something that has evolved. When I started writing, I didn’t understand the structure at all. It learns from endless writing. Eventually you start to understand it instinctively. You have to listen to yourself, listen to the writing, listen to the page, and you think to yourself: ok, time to get out of here. Time to move on.
In the first act, you’re on the beach and you’ve washed ashore with some wood and some gunpowder lying around. Maybe there’s some black powder in there and some phosphorus or whatever. And you build. These are parts of the character. You build the mold you put it in, you mix the gunpowder, you pack it in the right amount because you know what size explosion you want. You want a big explosion. How big an explosion do you want? How far will the garbage throw? You build it right, then you light the motherfucker and watch it die.
If you packed it right, when it explodes, the script will write itself. If you did your first act right, it will write itself without any problems. At this point, it’s up to you to have the most fun and film the explosion in so many different ways, its effects and consequences in the best possible way.