Billy Wilder- Screenwriting tips part II

Thought I would throw this up here as well since it is a Billy Wilder kind of day.

This is from the Paris Review, titled

Billy Wilder, the art of screenwriting No. 1

interviewed by James Linville

link:  Paris Review web page


*** some exceprts ***

Wilder, "Film’s thought of as a director’s medium because the director creates the end product that appears on the screen. It’s that stupid auteur theory again, that the director is the author of the film. But what does the director shoot—the telephone book? Writers became much more important when sound came in, but they’ve had to put up a valiant fight to get the credit they deserve."

*** more ***

Wilder. "Sure, I’ve made blunders, for God’s sake. Sometimes you lay an egg, and people will say, It was too early. Audiences weren’t ready for it. Bullshit. If it’s good, it’s good. If it’s bad, it’s bad."


I respect his honesty.

Almost as a rule, creative types are sensitive. You spend a good portion of your creative process trying to reign in all your self doubt that when you finally get to a point where you realize that sometimes you make mistakes or that not everyone will appreciate what you do, a sense of catharsis takes hold. It is wonderful.

Billy Wilder, much like Woody Allen has had such a lengthy career that one learns that you can be a fan of someones and still not LOVE everything they do. God forbid I dispose Woody Allen's early slapstick efforts but others I know think they are brilliant but, I still consider myself a fan of his work. Billy Wilder's Stalag 17 is considered a classic but I find that it can be a bit dated at times. It still is a great movie but not one that I find I want to put in all that often.

So, brew up a hot beverage of your choice and sit down for a grand read. It is a long interview but one that I am sure you will find most interesting.

James C. The Cold Open-BC