“I think the hardest thing about writing is writing.”
The most important thing is the story, not the script, the story.”
OK, I admit it. I’m one of the one billion. I watched the Oscars from start to finish: from the red carpet to the very end. Every year, I tell myself that there’s a better way to spend my time. And every year, I get hooked. I guess it’s because the Oscars are like a big story and I want to see the ending.
I especially enjoy seeing the winners for best original and adapted screenplay, because we all know that everything starts on the page. As Denzel Washington once put it in an interview, “If it ain’t on the page, it’s not on the stage.” How true this is!
Think of some of the classic films made in the heyday of Hollywood: Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, To Kill a Mockingbird. All these fabulous films began as novels: they were originally read rather than seen. And the screenplays that evolved from them all started the same way as the novels that inspired them: words on a page. Several of the nominated films this year also originated as books: Lincoln was inspired in part by Team of Rivals and Argo, by an article and a memoir.
All of which just goes to remind us that words matter, stories matter, books matter. Without them, there would be no films and no Oscars. And here’s something else that we need to remember also matters: showing up and putting in your time. When Argo won the Oscar for Best Picture, Ben Affleck said, “You have to work harder than you think you possibly can. It doesn’t matter that you get knocked down in life, because it’s going to happen. It matters that you get up.” Words we can all take to heart as we move forward with our own projects. Write on.