Upstream color: Or why artists should not talk about their work


I liked the subtext of the movie until I read Shane Carruth’s interpretation of it in an interview. My reading of it was a bit more profound and complex than what he intended it to be. I was a bit disappointed. Then I understood what Derrida meant when he said that the author is dead.  The author better stay dead. Otherwise he can be a nuisance and a disconcerting presence between the reader and the text. We all read into things what we want to see. We see our own vulnerabilities and preoccupations mirrored into every piece of art and that’s when we love it. As someone said, you cannot be moved by an idea unless you already agree to it subconsciously. So my advice to writers and film makers is- never talk about your work. Never talk about what you intended or what you are trying to convey. Make it. And just get out of the way.


An inspiring interview with a scriptwriter

This is an interesting interview with Elan Mastai, scriptwriter of ‘The F word.’ The script is still under production but propelled Mastai into the big league. The script is circulating around the net and you can get it if you are desperate enough. The same old premise for a romance- a guy and girl trying to remain ‘just friends.’ But the script reminded me that if you are talented enough and work hard, you don’t need high concepts.

His interview validated many points I have been trying to incorporate into current strategies in the last 6 months.

An excerpt:

-What do you think is the most common mistake beginning screenwriters make? 

EM: Probably waiting for their big break to magically appear instead of writing as much as possible as often as possible. Because when you do get your big break, it really sucks if you’re not developed enough as a writer to take full advantage of it.

I say that as someone who did have their big break magically appear. But when it happened, I was more or less ready to jump on it. I was (thankfully) a much better writer than I’d been in previous years because I’d spent the previous years writing as much as I could.-

Yeah, in the scramble to get your work out there, you may be blowing your chances if you are not ready enough.