015 – Craig Walendziak Pt.1

 

 

Don’t you dare miss out on this interview with Craig Walendziak. If you are one of those who appreciates the hard truths about the realities of screenwriting, do yourself a favor and check out both parts of the interview.

Craig transitioned rather seamlessly from the forums of Scriptshadow into the business of screenwriting…at first anyway. Then came time to learn some hard lessons about agents, managers, and the basic everyday challenges of being a screenwriter. He hasn’t officially broken-in, but he’s on the lot wearing a slightly darker turtleneck with fully charged night-vision goggles.

Many thanks to Craig.

 

EMAIL: eclipsethescript@gmail.com

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  • klmn

    Just listened to the first part. Some great info in there.

    I’ll check out the 2’nd part in a few days.

  • Scott Serradell

    Jesus! I’m not even going to try to distill every pearl of wisdom from this cast; there’s just too damn much. A few salient points that registered with me:

    “Don’t relax”

    What should be the most obvious advice is the most seldom discussed. Maybe because those in a position to dish out this reality don’t want to scare the shit out of those fresh-faces just arriving at the screenwriting shores. But: The blunt fact (of life, really) is once you scale one hurdle, you’re confronted with an even bigger one. And on and on it goes. You write one screenplay — great! — but what now? The next one. And then the one after that. The secret is that the obstacles never lessen in their difficulty; you, however, become more apt at traversing them.

    “Arduous behavior”

    There’s so much to admire with Craig’s attitude — And I have to think that his pro-activeness is in someway informed by that old school punk ethos. As someone else who (in his wayward youth) used to scream into a microphone on stage, it was the ethic of going out there and getting it done; people would tell me ‘no’ all the time and my response was ‘fuck you, I’m doing it anyway.’ It was my life; was I going to wait and get someone else’s permission to live it?

    James Cameron said simply: Movie making is creating something out of nothing. And from Werner Herzog: “Money doesn’t move mountains; faith does”. My point: If you are waiting for the other guy to say ‘yes’ you will be waiting a long time — and time, as Craig rightly points out, is too valuable. He believed in his script enough to side-step his manager, and that was a ballsy move. But he did it smartly and respectfully and it worked. There’s a lot of inspiration in that.

    “As long as your logline is not terrible”

    I love it when loglines get taken down a few pegs. I really do. What he said was so true: If you have a good story you’ll have a good logline. I think it becomes a problem when you treat the logline as a formula or code to crack instead of letting just be an organic thing; if you over think it you’re going to overcook it. Let it be, as the song goes.

    “Screenwriting truths are hard truths. You just got to put your head down and keep going”

    There’s the oft misunderstood quote from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus that says: “War is the father of all.” But he’s not talking about combat; he’s talking about conflict, the same way a tree doesn’t grow strong roots without strong winds. If you don’t challenge yourself your muscles will atrophy. Like anything, screenwriting is an on-going process — climbing one mountain range after the next — and perseverance is the just ego accepting this discipline as a natural thing.

    Just a few thoughts. As always Mike: A pleasure.