The Importance Of The Screenplay : 25 Quotes About Screenwriting

Licorice Pizza, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

To make a great film, you need three things : the script, the script and the script.

– Alfred Hitchcock

A great script is absolutely essential, perhaps THE essential thing for a movie to succeed.

– Sydney Pollack

Once you crack the script, everything else follows.

– Ridley Scott

Screenwriting is like ironing. You move forward a little bit and go back and smooth things out.

– Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson giving directions to Daniel Day Lewis on the set of “There Will Be Blood”.

You can dress it up, but it comes down to the fact that a movie is only as good as its script.

– Curtis Hanson

There’s nothing more important in making movies than the screenplay.

– Richard Attenborough

The challenge of screenwriting is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement.

– Raymond Chandler

Audiences are harder to please if you’re just giving them effects, but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story.

– Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg reading a screenplay on set.

You sell a screenplay like you sell a car. If someone drives it off a cliff, that’s it.

– Rita Mae Brown

I don’t think screenwriting is therapeutic. It’s actually really, really hard for me. It’s not an enjoyable process.

– Charlie Kaufman

I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.

– Tom Clancy

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

– Elmore Leonard

When I was sixteen or seventeen, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a playwright But everything I wrote, I thought was weak. and I can remember falling asleep in tears because I had no talent the way I wanted to have.

– Francis Ford Coppola

I could be just a writer very easily. I am not a writer. I am a screenwriter, which is half a filmmaker….But it is not an art form, because screenplays are not works of art. They are invitations to others to collaborate on a work of art.

– Paul Schrader
Francis Ford Coppola and Gene Hackman on the set of “The Conversation”.

I don’t think screenplay writing is the same as writing. I mean, I think it’s blue printing.

– Robert Altman

It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.

– Will Shetterly

Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.

– Billy Wilder

Ensure that your script is watertight. If it’s not on the page, it will never magically appear on the screen.

– Richard E. Grant

Good dialogue illuminates what people are not saying.

– Robert Towne

I steal from every movie ever made.

– Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino in his office, photographed by Mark Seliger.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t give up.

– Richard Bach

All writing is discipline, but screenwriting is a drill sergeant.

– Robert McKee

It’s a great euphoria when you reach that writing zone.

– Paul T. Scheuring

Coffee and screenwriting go hand in hand.

– Adrienne Posey

The easiest thing to do on earth is not write.

– William Goldman
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