Film Courage: How many talented ones, truly great writers would you say have MFA’s, even have a Bachelor’s versus those that maybe don’t? Do you think it’s really necessary?
David Willis: Gosh…I don’t know? I know someone who just got a Master’s in television writing from Loyola [University]. But I really don’t know everyone’s resumes in these groups and what they’re into.
The nice thing about (I’ve noticed) people who go to college and get these screenwriting degrees is when you’re young, you just don’t have that much to write about, yet? Because you haven’t…it’s like a lot of comedians don’t get successful until they are at least like 30 because they just haven’t done that much yet. You just need time on the planet and as a writer the more time you have on the planet, the more you have to draw from.
So that’s the great thing about going to college is that while you’re young and still learning you can learn the craft and the technique so that when you do have more things to write about, you have the technique.
Film Courage: You’ve got to get bitter first. Probably around 35 is the time for this to happen.
David Willis: Well, writers are frequently (even when they’re successful), there’s a bitterness. When writers get together they just love to complain.
If you don’t have an agent, you love to complain about that you don’t have an agent.
When you do have an agent you complain that they are not sending out your stuff enough.
Okay, when you sell a pilot you complain because the pilot didn’t get made.
When you get the pilot made, you complain because it didn’t go to series.
When you have a series you complain that it only ran two years instead of six years.
Okay and I guess if you are Chuck Lorre you complain that you only have three series on the air instead of six.
I mean writers will always find a reason to complain. We’re creative that way.
Film Courage: Right, but they voice what most people are already thinking, but maybe they just don’t want to say it. So those that are embittered enough to say it, we’re like “Yes! We won’t say that but we want to hear it.”
David Willis: Well, that’s a writer’s job to voice things that people can’t say.
Question For the Viewers: A Writer’s Job is to Voice Things People Can’t Say, do you agree?
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