A Good Writer Doesn’t Throw Away A Bad Idea – John Gray


Film Courage: For every idea that you come up with, how many of them are what you consider bad ideas and you throw them away?

John Gray, Writer, Director, Producer: I feel like I never really throw an idea away. An idea will either be just not ready yet or it’s not enough to be its own thing, I’m going to have to put this aside and this might be a piece of something else later on. There’s just tons of ideas that you work out in your head and you think Is that something? Could I? Then when it comes to the point where now I can’t make that gel I just keep it somewhere in the back of my head behind my left kidney somewhere and it will be five years later I’ll be working on something and I’ll just think Ah, subplot, villain. Also, I’ve been making a lot of short films now and so it’s been a great treasure trove for me to go back to some of these ideas that I try to develop as feature films or a TV series and I never could really figure out a way to sustain them for two hours or for five years but there’s still good solid little ideas and I thought Ah, this would be a great 10 minute little movie. I’ve had a lot of success in that way with just taking an idea from 15 years ago that if you modernize it and suddenly breathe new life into it, it’s not just the same thing, but ideas to me are gold and I never really throw them away, they’re always there. 

Film Courage: Going back to your friend who wanted to read these screenwriting books but then said Well what ideas do I come up with?, it sounds like for you this is not a problem, in fact there’s so many, it’s just how much time do I have?…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).



Brooklyn born John Gray is an award winning writer-director-producer of films and television, and the creator of the long running TV series, Ghost Whisperer. He has written and directed many feature films and movies for television, including White Irish Drinkers, starring Stephen Lang and Karen Allen; Martin And Lewis, starring Sean Hayes and Jeremy Northam; the Emmy® nominated A Place For Annie, with Sissy Spacek; the Emmy® nominated mini-series Haven with Natasha Richardson and Anne Bancroft; Helter Skelter, and many others.  Gray has directed numerous episodes of broadcast and cable series, including multiple episodes of the NBC series GRIMM and was also the producing director of the CBS series RECKLESS. Gray’s acclaimed short films have played and are currently playing in film festivals all over the world including FRENCH KISS, which has also notched 6.3 million views to date on YouTube.  He is married to writer-filmmaker Melissa Jo Peltier, and they make their home in New York and Cape Cod, MA. John’s new novel The Desecrated follows Jennifer, a college dropout hoping to regroup, who joins the night shift at the NYC Morgue.

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