Author, Jeffrey Davis: So Claude Rains in CASABLANCA says to [Humphrey] Bogart “What brought you to Casablanca?” And Bogart says “The Waters.” And Claude Rains says “It’s a desert.” And Bogart says something like “I was mistaken. I was misinformed.” Which is great dialogue. Just great dialogue. It’s music, it’s music. Which is the difference between speaking, like we’re doing here and interesting dialogue.
Film Courage: You said earlier that when your wife reads your first draft, second draft, she’s an actress so you’re essentially writing for actors. How does a writer write for what they think people will say, versus what actors would say?
Jeffrey Davis: Just years of practice.
Film Courage: Can you give examples?
Jeffrey Davis: And listening to readings. I find readings incredibly valuable, workshopping, and films and TV should be done the same way.
Actors are not shy about telling you what doesn’t work for them. Just like singers are not shy about telling a songwriter “Hey, you know when I land on that…it doesn’t go, the words don’t go with the notes.
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Now That’s Funny!: The Art and Craft of Writing Comedy
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There are days when New York City seems to open its doors to you and every single piece falls nicely into place supporting the dream that brought you to that big wonderful city. Then there are the other days…the days when those same pieces become ill-fitting sharp-edged shards ganging up against you and any goal you may have. Those are the days when the cruel heartless city itself seems to be conspiring against you. Those are the days you know you’ve been…New YORK’d. It WILL happen to you…