Tony Gilroy, BOURNE franchise writer, talking about his career today.
Twelve things I learnt:
1. Gilroy has never read a Robert Ludlum novel. Doesn't consider himself an adaptor. Tonight he wanted to talk about the original screenplay.
2. Screenwriting is imaginative work. We make stuff up. It's scary because you can't teach someone to be imaginative. You can kill it though, and magnify it.
3. Curiosity, important for his line of work, in all kinds of things, and staying interested. Gilroy's knowledge of the world is broad but very thin, dinner companion thin. But you're ready to go deep.
4. You have to know human behaviour. Your quality of writing is capped at your knowledge of human behaviour. More than understanding, you have to have empathy.
5. You need to become a journalist, reporting what's in your head.
6. Plotting out a thriller is agony. Goes 50% faster working with someone else - spitballing, role playing, like you're 9 years old.
7. Gilroy spent six years tending bar while figuring out how to write a screenplay.
8. Regarding how directing has altered his style - The more films you get made, the less dialogue you write and the more camera you write.
9. Television is where ambiguity is living, interesting characterisation, shades of morality.
10. You've been sucking up narrative since you were born. You know more about narrative than anything else. You intrinsically know what a movie is.
11. Action sequences are built to locations. Build to limitations. What haven't you seen before?
On the page - write as fast as possible. Be energised when you write.
12. A great day of writing trumps everything.