My favorite part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has to be the industry panels. Over the weekend, I watched the writer’s panel. As a member of the Producer’s Guild, I’m fortunate to have screened most all of the Academy Award nominated films, and right there in front of me were the nominated writers!
The panel was a lighthearted and candid look at how these writers’ scripts have found their way from the keyboard to the big screen. What’s clear is that there’s no formula, no easy path, and no shortcuts. The writers reveal the obstacles each overcame on the way to seeing their vision realized. The anecdotes range from stories of triumph over adversity to remarkable collaborative efforts to just plain luck.
Here’s a small taste: David Seidler, writer for The King’s Speech, requested permission from the Queen Mother to tell King George’s story. She gave her permission with the proviso that it only be produced after her death since it would be too painful to re-live on the screen. She died just short of age 102, nearly 25 years after he made his request.
This year’s panel, moderated by Anne Thompson of indieWIRE, features these screenwriters:
Aaron Sorkin – The Social Network
Scott Silver – The Fighter
David Seidler – The King’s Speech
Charlie Mitchell – Get Low
Lisa Cholodenko – The Kids Are All Right
Michael Arndt – Toy Story 3
How did Michael Arndt come up with Spanish Buzz Lightyear for Toy Story 3? Does Aaron Sorkin have a Facebook account? Find out by watching 2011 SBIFF Writer’s Panel: It Starts with the Script. All movies in this course are availble to watch for non-members, as well as members.