Questions & Answers


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Name:             Russ
Date:               5/16/16

Dear Josh :

I've often read reviewers say that the script was rubbish but the actor/actress made the drivel watchable with their talent. I realize there are fine actors out there and some not so fine but is that possible? As a writer your thoughts? How about as a director? Can a director make a script better than it is?

Dear Russ:

I'd like to believe that I made the Xena episodes I directed better than they were. I added jokes and songs, and anything else I thought was amusing or funny. A director brings their sensibility to the show. And it's always great having an actor give a terrific performance. But no matter what you're stuck with the script, and if it stinks than you can probably bet the movie or show will stink, too. As they've been saying forever, "If it ain't on the page it ain't on the stage."


Name:             Justin Hayward
Date:               5/10/16

Hey Josh :

Lately I've been working on a script I'm really enjoying and when people ask me if I'm working on another movie, I feel like I am, even though it's only the script and not the production. It occurred to me that even though I'm not a writer, I still get tremendous pleasure from writing a movie. I get about the same pleasure from writing a movie as I do from shooting one, or editing, or even sound mixing. All of it feels like "making movies" to me and making movies is what I enjoy. You're an actual writer, so I'm probably asking a rhetorical question, but do you get the same thrill from writing as you do from everything else involved with making a movie? Thanks

Dear Justin:

I'm glad you brought this up. I love writing. I write every day, and I think of it like weightlifting: the more you do it the more comfortable it gets, although it never gets easy. I do think there is a whole school of thought regarding your comment, "it's only the script," where writing the script is the incidental part of filmmaking. It's not incidental, it's the most important part of the process. Without a good script nothing you can do afterward will fix it, no matter how good your lighting, your shot selection, your casting or anything else. But, as I mentioned, it never gets an easier writing a good script. Because I write so much I don't have any problem sitting down and knocking out a 120 page script, but that doesn't mean it will be good. As Irving Thalberg, former head of production at MGM, said long ago, "The most important decision you'll make is your first one -- what story am I telling."


Name:             Dave G.
Date:               5/7/16

Dear Josh :

Can't find the Film Threat article you wrote on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Do you have a link to it?

Dear Dave:

It got taken down, but will now go back up. Here's the link.


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