When a movie like Transformers comes out there’s a lot of press about the director and the stars but there’s little talk of the screenwriters. Their job is a tad less glamorous than others who work in movies so their story behind the story rarely gets told. Jeffery Goldsmith of Creative Screenwriting Magazine offers screenwriters a place to be heard as they talk about their role in putting films together.
I mentioned Transformers above because I think Goldsmith’s interview with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman is a perfect example of how this podcast gives you a story you haven’t heard before. I haven’t even seen the film, it looks like the film that would best be viewed in fifteen minute chunks when picking up/dropping off a friend from his house, but I was fascinated. It was both informative and, to be honest, a bit depressing to hear how a modern Hollywood blockbuster is made from when it is first green lit to its release. Hearing Orci and Kurtzman talk about how they had to attend “Transformers school” at Hasbro headquarters and that they also attended a merchandising meeting before having come up with a full story is much better example of “a behind-the-scenes look” than anything that will appear on the DVD release. I had no idea that Patton Oswalt contributed to the script and for few minutes that made me want to see the film.
Goldsmith is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic but never too easy on his guests. I believe what separates good interviews from bad ones is how much homework that interviewer has done. Listen to Goldsmith examine the history of The State with David Wain and Ken Marino for his interview for The Ten and you can tell this guy can give you a great interview. Talking to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg for Superbad it’s clear Goldsmith knows to transfer his appreciation for a film into provoking questions. Back to The Transformers interview, Goldsmith probably made a lot of people happy, including Gene O’Neil, when he asked what the Hell was up with that ending. It's said that film production is like making sausages, as much as you love the final product you don't want to see how it's made. If you're not one of those people and want a look inside the "sausage factory" then download an episode or two of Creative Screenwriting's show.