“You talkin’ ta me??”
When you think of great movies, you think of great lines. Thing is, many of the great lines you remember weren’t ever written down by any screenwriter. They were improvised on the spot.
This has major implications. For all of us who suffer from the film bug, a large part of what we aspire to write comes from these moments which inspired us so much. What does it mean if so many of them were never intended?
It means movies don’t get made based on great lines in a script. Movies get made because someone, somewhere, at some time, decides to make a movie. He may be an executive with a huge employ of writers, directors, and actors. Or, she may be a rogue filmmaker who just picks up the camera and gets rolling.
Beware the screenplay competition. Beware the pedantic over-attention to detail in your writing. No matter what you write or try to get made, you will be constantly distilling it down to its finest essence in order for it to have a snowball’s chance of getting optioned or made. The concept is everything, and following that, what the current market trends say about the likely success or failure of said concept, and, following that, the arbitrary opinion of some pinhead who green-lights or slush-piles your work, and, following that, whether Jupiter is in galactic alignment with Iapatus, or, whether a butterfly flapped its wings in Peking that morning, and, following that, any good lines you may have worked in.
Here’s to the greats.