Film Courage: Is there a specific kind of story a first-time screenwriter should make?
Larry Wilson: Ah…Yes! What that story is and it’s not that cliche of ‘Write what you know’ because I’ve never written what I “know.” I write fantastical worlds and supernatural stories and all of that. But write what you feel and what’s in your heart and write something that means something to you. And you know I was a script reader for gosh…probably a decade. And I was reading 7-8 scripts a week. And the rare one was the great script. And when I found that, this was a very exciting day at the office. And sometimes the really terrible scripts, they were fun because they were so God-awful. But the ones that got really exhausting and really irritating as a script reader who has to read a script, synopsize it, write a comment about it, and then pick up another one, read it and synopsize it, were ones who you could tell were written by people who were looking at what last year’s hit was and trying to imitate it. And those were deadly! And they weren’t good. They weren’t bad. They were safe and mediocre. And any young writer or old writer, anyone who is just starting to write, write something that you feel. Write something that comes from the heart. And people may not think that BEETLEJUICE is a personal movie but it’s an intensely personal movie. It was intensely personal for Michael [the co-writer]. And I didn’t know that I had a theme until I had enough work to realize I had a theme. And almost everything I’ve written are about broken families who are put back together in some bizarre way because I came from a broken family. So I like to think that my work has a sense of heart and a sense of compassion and a sense of humanity. No matter how bizarre it is, no matter how weird the worlds get. And you’ve got to write something that you feel, that you have some passion for or why do it? It’s just too hard. It’s not an easy job. I personally can’t imagine saying “Well, this was a hit. So now I am going to write my version of that. It’s not really what I care about, what I feel. But I can imitate it well enough.” I can’t imagine spending a year of your life doing that. But people do it all the time. And people usually write mediocre scripts.
Film Courage: Is being safe something that has never appealed to you?
Larry Wilson: I don’t know how…in my career and in my life! Safe hasn’t factored into it. Not always the best decision, maybe? But I sort of like jumping off cliffs.
Question for the Viewers: Is what you write intensely personal?
CONNECT WITH LARRY WILSON
Lazar works as a ‘decoy’ or ‘bait’ who distracts the police and oversees the transfer of illegal immigrants across the border with the EU. Intelligent and discreet, he lives under the patronage of a local mobster and is able to support his family with the money he makes from trafficking. He falls in love with a young student, a stranger to his world, and contemplates changing his life. One night, his brother Toni is responsible for the drowning of one of the immigrants. Lazar is called to help and is faced with an impossible decision.
The Cyclotron is a thriller that takes place at the end of the Second World War. Simone, a spy working for the Allies, is entrusted with the mission to find and execute Emil, a scrupulous Berlin scientist who discovered before the Americans the way to build an atomic bomb, and is fleeing with his secret. Simone finds him on a night train speeding towards Switzerland. German soldiers, led by König, a German scientist, who want to arrest Emil and make him talk before he leaves the country, are also chasing him. Things get complicated when memories of love and quantum mechanics get intertwined in the pursuit.
BNB Hell tells the story of a young woman’s hunt for her missing sister ends at a rundown bed and breakfast in the Hollywood Hills run by an ill-tempered woman called Mommy. Disturbing messages left by former guests suggest unsettling secrets lay buried there.
Show Business is an American comedy that follows screenwriter Guy Franklin as he moves from NYC to LA with his fiancé. It should be a great gig but Guy soon realizes that being in Show Business and balancing his life love is easier said than done – a movie by Composer/Filmmaker Alexander Tovar