How Can A Director Tell A Good Script From A Bad Script? by Rhys Thomas

Watch the video on Youtube here

How Can A Director Tell A Good Script From A Bad Script? by Rhys Thomas


Film Courage:  When you’re presented with a script, how can you tell good writing versus bad writing?  Let’s say there’s writing with a few more iterations which might be excellent and then there are things where you know instinctively this just isn’t going to work.

Rhys Thomas:  Good question…A comedy (as well) is a very specific thing because there are writers that are really good at jokes and they are just really funny people but maybe sometimes just don’t understand story.  So the structure…you might read something on the surface that has really good beats but as a whole it just doesn’t glue together so the thing that I tend to look for first in any script is a sense of story.  Does this person sort of know the story that they are telling and did they understand the structure of things and again it’s a sort of subtle thing that you come to see.  And obviously is it a story that I like.  It’s like anything.  There are films and scripts and what have you that are not for everybody. So I may not enjoy a script but not because it’s not good.  Maybe I’m not the person for it.

But a story is a thing that I think most writers if they can get a good handle on studying that and understanding character and motivation and what have you that that’s the sort of foundation.  The joke writing and stuff I think if you can do that as well then you’re on a good track. But it’s really funny.  It’s quite rare to see people who can kind of straddle both things.

Check out COMRADE DETECTIVE, Directed by Rhys Thomas, written by Brian Gatgewood and Alessandro Tanaka.


Rhys Thomas (Left) and Brian Gatewood (Right) – Watch the video interview on Youtube here


Selling A Television Show To Amazon Studios –



Check out Amazon Studios new series Comrade Detective directed and co-executive produced by Rhys Thomas and co-written by Brian Gatewood (along with Alessandro Tanaka).  Rhys is known for his work on Saturday Night Live, Staten Island Summer and Documentary Now! Brian is known for his work on Dice, Animal Practice, and The Sitter
Corneliu Ulici and Florin Piersic Jr. in Comrade Detective

Film Courage: We are wondering how you got started in the entertainment industry?  I know you had a film with your writing partner Alessandro Tanaka in 2011 starring Jonah Hill (THE SITTER).

Brian Gatewood:  Yes.  I met Alessandro at Columbia Film School where he graduated with distinction and I dropped out but we had already started writing together and working together.  I guess our first professional job [writing] was probably around 2005 or so.  We started working for Warner Brothers and then we spent many years doing a number of different rewrites on scripts, we do adaptations, we do punch ups, and we ultimately had an original (we wrote THE SITTER) that came out.  It was a lot of writing, a lot of hard work to break in.  It’s not easy but getting inside the studio system was actually an advantage for us in that we were essentially paid to work on writing for a number of years and hone skills and take on different genres and build up sort of a toolbox of writing.  So it was ultimately great, but it was a grind.

Watch the video interview on Youtube here
 How I Became A Director On Saturday Night Live by Rhys Thomas
Film Courage: Rhys, I’m wondering if we can talk a little bit about life before Comrade Detective? When you were starting out in the entertainment industry, what was your strategy? Did you even have a strategy? Did you end up here accidentally?
Rhys Thomas: Yeah…I wouldn’t say there was a strategy, at least I didn’t know of one. Where I grew up was about as far from the film industry as could be. Well, not as could be. I’m sure I could have grown up in Siberia, too. But I grew up in a small village in South Wales and really had zero idea of how you might penetrate the film industry or television. And it was sort of just through luck…I mean, I think me taking some risks and some gambles and some happy accidents that I sort of found my way eventually to SNL. There is sort of a long story in between obviously. Essentially I came to New York knowing that I wanted to work in Film and Television, I had no idea what to do. New York seemed like the direction. To head to LA felt like too much of a cultural leap at the time (watch the video on Youtube here).

Synopsis: In the 1980s, millions of Romanians tuned in to Comrade Detective, a gritty and sleek buddy cop show that not only entertained its citizens but also promoted Communist ideals and inspired a deep nationalism. It has now been digitally remastered and dubbed into English for the first time by a cast featuring Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon Levitt.


Director and Co-Executive Producer:  Rhys Thomas

Creators: Brian Gatewood, Alessandro Tanaka

Stars: Channing Tatum, Florin Piersic Jr., Joseph Gordon-Levitt and many more






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