Screenwriter JD Payne joined us before a live audience at LTUE to talk about writing for the screen, specifically regarding doing this work with others in a room full of writers.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:16 — 13.3MB)
Give a character description using only visual cues in 20 words or less
Boilerplate by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett
5 thoughts on “12.47: Screenwriting and the Writers Room, with JD Payne”
Apparently another good screenwriter skill to develop is being able to talk quickly and very clearly.
Meanwhile, on the big screen… or little screen? Anywhere it shows up, Howard, Dan, and Mary talk with JD Payne about the screenwriter, and the Writers Room. What are you doing in that room, and when do you get to touch the keyboard? Read all about it in the transcript, now available in the archives and over here
I thought this was an insightful podcast over all, but one thing really bothered me.
I really didn’t like/understand the “on the spectrum comment.” Either JD were saying that the person he was talking to (when the call went sideways and producer had to call him after explaining) was actually disabled, but that was still a bad thing ala “Yeah you have to be personal not like this autistic person!*” or the “on the spectrum” was a joke meaning to equate autism with undesirable personality traits. Even if JD was only quoting what his producer said people laughed like it was funny and I didn’t understand how it could have been a joke. And I really didn’t like that it wasn’t acknowledged or clarified. Yes rude people aren’t fun to work with, that’s a good point, but that’s not the same as having autism/being disabled! And someone on the autism spectrum being rude, is also, NOT funny either?
I feel like in both of my interpretation of what he was saying there was a core implication of “autistic people are hard to work with and that’s bad.” And I didn’t like that people let that slide.
*people with autism can actually be personable, kind and friendly! Just because they have difficultly with some social situations doesn’t make them inherently bad to work with.
This is my fault. I was emceeing the episode, and I didn’t take the time to pause and address the issue. I let the pressures of the live audience and the limited time we had to lay down episodes drive things when I should have reigned the discussion in for long enough to at least acknowledge the significance of that particular can of worms. I’m sorry.
Had I appropriately clarified things, our takeaway would not have been “autistic people are difficult to work with.” It would have been “people are difficult to work with.”
Thank you Howard for acknowledging and owning up to a mistake. Even that goes a long way!
Comments are closed.