Monday, January 24, 2005

The Best Writer's Epitaph - Ever?

I'm reading a cool book: The New Screenwriter On The New Screenwriter, by a veteran UCLA academic called William Froug.

The prose is less than scintillating. Indeed it is, at some points, outright wank. In one chapter Froug says, of a Hollywood Director, that 'he kept his own council'. What does that mean? That this man kept his own municipal administration somewhere? If so, where did he put all the councillors? In the shed? I guess Froug meant 'he kept his own counsel', but hey, what do I know? This is La-La Land. Maybe top Hollywood moguls really do have their own personal regional governments. The same way they have their own private planes and personal cinema screens.

Anyhoo, despite these flaws, the book is very entertaining and informative, and I commend it to all aspiring screenwriters, like me.

It also relates a number of fine anecdotes. Here's an example. Apparently there was this Hollywood scriptwriter who experienced all the usual hassles of the job, the difficulties of the writing craft, etc. When the scriptwriter died, he asked for this epitaph to be put on his gravestone:

'Finally, a Plot.'

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