April 15, 2003

Useless Screenwriting Tip #1: Write When Ronin's On

John Frankenheimer and Robert deNiro on location for Ronin, image: dga.org

According to the little-known Osmosis Theory of Writing, while trying to write a tight, sharp, crime thriller, you should watch a tight, sharp crime thriller, like, say, Ronin (directed by John Frankenheimer, screenplay by David Mamet on JD Zeik's story). It helps if it's got insane chase scenes over roads you used to travel regularly (Paris, Nice, La Turbie). If you do this, the doors will fly open, and your screenwriting muse will spray you with inspiration, like so much shrapnel in a waterfront ambush.

That's the theory, anyway.

Your screenwriting kit should include: Ronin (with the Frankenheimer's commentary) and his 1962 classic, The Manchurian Candidate, on DVD, and Frankenheimer interviews at The Onion AV Club and Movie Express.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

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first published: April 15, 2003.

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