Writer/director/actress, and one of the most influential proponents of LGBT cinema, Guinevere Turner, sat down with NFS to talk about her work as a screenwriter for such films as Go Fish, American Psycho, and The Notorious Bettie Page. While sharing about how she got started, her process, and techniques that made her a better writer (yes, including writing bad scenes,) she also discusses her feature directorial debut for her upcoming project Creeps.
NFS: So, how did you get into screenwriting?
GT: I got into screenwriting in kind of a roundabout way — unexpected, I should say. I went to Sarah Lawrence College — I thought I was going to be a novelist. I was living in Chicago, my girlfriend just graduated from film school, and we were both bemoaning the state of lesbian cinema. And then I said, “Well, I’m a writer. I’ll write a script. You’re a filmmaker, so you’ll make a movie.” I’d never wrote a script in my life when I wrote the script for Go Fish. I got into screenwriting because I just decided to do it. I never studied it — and it’s funny, because now I teach it. It was very much a learning-by-doing, trial and error process.
The guy who wrote Ocean’s Thirteen — Brian Koppelman — I was looking at his Six-Second Screenwriting Advice, and he said, “All screenwriting books are bullshit. Watch movies. Read scripts.” That has kind of been my execution. One time I really broke down The Big Chill, thinking, “What can I learn from this movie?” And you know what it is? Do you know why it’s so popular?…
Check out the rest of ‘American Psycho’ Screenwriter Guinevere Turner Wants You to Write the Worst Scene Ever Written, originally found on nofilmschool.com.