As you may or may not have noticed, my third feature, We Still Kill The Old Way, was released over Christmas.
For reasons I won’t go into here, I haven’t seen it yet but friends and family who have were certainly impressed and reviews thus far have been generally excellent.
As co-writer of said movie, I’m obviously pleased for all involved yet there is one thing that’s becoming increasingly irritating to me. So much so in fact, that the other day I actually did something I said I’d never do. I complained about a review. In fact, I’ve subsequently complained about three.
It would be obvious to assume that these were negative reviews but in fact the opposite is true. Each was full of praise for the film and the performances with none giving it less than four stars. However, all three (and others to be fair) neglected to mention one specific thing, the writers.
Now to be clear, this is not a moan about me. As I’ve written many times, screenwriting is very much a hobby for me (albeit one that takes up most of my time!) as I consider myself first and foremost to be an author (and even that’s pushing it!). Furthermore, as I’ve also written many times, I’m never precious about scripts and am more than happy to hand them over to a director and let them take over. As long as they pay me of course!
However, whilst I’m always delighted to read the compliments paid to actors and directors, the fact remains that the starting point of any film or TV show is a writer with an idea sitting in front of a blank screen. Without them, there would be no film to talk of so is it not right and proper that their role should, at the very least, be afforded the courtesy of a name check rather than a cursory mention of the script they churned out?
What annoys me most about this is that the people writing reviews are my peers and as fellow writers, I’d argue that they actually have a duty to talk up both their fellow scribes and the work that they do. For by not doing so they surely underpin the notion that writers are the least important people in the creative process when the reality is that the opposite is closer to the truth.
After all, do you really think Arnie came up with the line ‘I’ll be back!’ all by himself? Or that Jack Nicholson just threw together the ‘you can’t handle the truth’ speech from A Few Good Men as they were sitting on set? Of course not. They came from the imagination of some poor caffeine, alcohol and/or nicotine fuelled hack sitting in front of a computer in the middle of the night.
So film critics of the world, the next time you heap praise on a movie, why not remember the individual who put it all together and give them a mention.
Not least because one day, that might be you.
Thanks to all those I’ve spoken to over the holidays (and at Chelsea yesterday) asking about my next project.
I can’t say anything at the moment other than talks are well advanced for a new film and I’m hoping to pen to paper on that within the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’m working on a new script and will then start work on another book as I am determined to add to my list by the end of the year. On which note, thanks to everyone who brought The Crew, Top Dog, Billy’s Log and Wings of a Sparrow over the holidays.
I hope you enjoy them!
screenwriting, screenplay. script, author, ebook, gangster, indie film, british film, green street, social media, twitter, facebook