An Argument Against Screenplay Formulas (Part 3): They diminish the craft of screenwriting

Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo

“The most important person in the motion picture process is the writer… and we must do everything in our power to prevent them from ever realizing it.”

Larry: I’m just saying there’s time and money to be saved… if we came up with these stories on our own.
- Where are these stories coming from?
Larry: Anywhere. It doesn’t matter. The newspaper. Pick any story.
- ‘Immigrants protest budget cuts in literacy program.’
Larry: Human spirit overcoming human adversity. Sounds like Horatio Alger in the barrio. Put Jimmy Smits in it and you’ve got a sexy Stand and Deliver. Next. Come on.
- This isn’t my field.
Larry: It doesn’t matter. Give it a shot. You can’t lose here.
- How about ‘Mud slide kills in slums of Chili’?
Larry: That’s good. Triumph over tragedy. Sounds like a John Boorman picture. Slap a happy ending on it, the script will write itself.

Peter Gallagher as Larry Levy in The Player



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