Film Courage: How much of you being a screenwriter is about the love of writing? Is it something that is painstaking for you where 10 hours will go by and you won’t think of a line of dialogue? Or is it something where you love the process? Or you love it because it produces a movie?
Matthew Berkowitz, Filmmaker: Interesting…both. I love the writing process. I really do and I love being able to paint pictures with words. I love writing a story. I love being able to tell a story over three acts or two acts. You can write a two-act film. You can write these great characters. I love writing. Writing is such a passion for me.
But it’s also if you want to say something, there is not a better person to say it than yourself. As a director sometimes you are forced to write your own words because you want to get your vision on screen. So it’s never really comes down to me trying to create a product. That’s not what screenwriting is to me, to create a product, to go make a movie. That’s not really my intention as a screenwriter but it’s always about me telling a story I want to tell. And I’ve co-written stuff with buddies and friends and other writers. But I really like at times being able to say what you want to say as a director, what you want to put on screen. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to direct other people’s words because I think that is just as valuable.
As a necessity (as a writer/director) you have a vision that you want to write that is in your mind some place, that’s in the back of your head that you can tap these beautiful places and tell these beautiful characters or scary characters and it’s easy to translate it from your brain to your fingers to the screen.
Film Courage: That’s interesting. So it’s about getting out what you want to say not about not having this thing where “Look! This is a movie and it’s screening at this festival.” It’s a burning desire to make a statement.
Film Courage: Have you always been like this?
Matthew: I’m sure if you asked my parents they would probably say yes. I’ve always been the one who wants to scream really loud so…
Film Courage: Well you know certain kids are more precocious and they have a statement they want to proclaim to the world. And then others were sort of the quiet ones. So I just wasn’t sure.
Matthew: No I was the first one. Yes, I was hands down the first one.
Question For The Viewers: Why do you write?
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