Screenwriter’s Panel: 2009 Oscar Nominees

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a panel hosted by Creative Screenwriting Magazine that included 6 of 10 Oscar nominated screenwriters for this year.  The panelists are listed below, followed by a pithy commentary on their personality:

Simon BeaufoySlumdog Millionaire (Best Adapted Screenplay)

Charmingly bumbling short British guy in a tan suit.

I’m always going to give the dumb answer!

Dustin Lance Black - Milk (Best Original Screenplay)

Shockingly youthful, awkwardly comfortable with amazing hair and proportioned like a giraffe.

In response to what he would change about another panelist’s movie:

If I had Brad Pitt in my movie, I definitely would have had a gay sex scene

Courtney HuntFrozen River (Best Original Screenplay)

Dedicated, passionate, no-nonsense in a dark blue pantsuit and peep toe pumps.

In response to how she maintained creative control of her film (she also directed):

I had no money.  I was always wondering if I would be able to shoot another day.

Eric RothThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Best Adapted Screenplay)

Completely uninterested, slouching and mumbling, with nothing to prove.

In response to an audience question about the logic of Benjamin Button growing up and then down again:

I have no idea what you just asked me.

John Patrick ShanleyDoubt (Best Adapted Screenplay)

Gangly and personable, eager to make jokes.

Addressed to the moderator (twice):

Fuck you!

(Don’t get the wrong impression, he was quite funny).


Andrew StantonWALL-E (Best Original Screenplay)

As douchy as he looks in frameless glasses and an expensive haircut.  Very Hank Scorpio.

I don’t remember any of his quotes because they were usually pretty longwinded.


As a pathetic wannabe writer – in whatever capacity – the most important thing I took away from this panel, that I hear again and again but still struggle with, is just to write.  Just write a first draft.  It is probably going to suck, but it is much better and much less scary than a blank page.

This entry was written by FilmFemme , posted on Tuesday February 03 2009at 12:02 pm , filed under indie, industry news, lists, oscar buzz . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

5 Responses to “Screenwriter’s Panel: 2009 Oscar Nominees”

  • Rebecca says:

    For writing inspiration of the “Just Do It” mindset, I highly recommend Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. Seriously.

  • KeegsMom says:

    I’ve heard interviews with three of the six here, and your uber brief descriptions of each of them are frighteningly fitting!

    Wish I could have been there… one of the many things I miss about life in CA…. :(

  • Ben Esch says:

    Okay, I’m hoping this comment will get posted straight away, so I don’t end up with a string of increasingly agitated comments that make me look like a stalker, a la the “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” debacle.

    The guy who wrote WallE is like Hank Scorpio? Holy shit! That’s tremendous. I would fully kiss that guy on the mouth if I ever ran into him for giving me the two hour joy ball that was WallE. How much did I love Wall E? I gave a hug to the parking ticket machine on the way out. That’s how much I felt like I bonded with machines after that movie.

    Oh, and the first draft thing is totally true. I never read that Bird by Bird book, but people say it’s good, so I think you should listen to people. Unless it’s like a lynch mob or Nazis or something. In which case you should totally make up your own mind.


  • KeegsMom says:

    Somehow I missed Rebecca’s post… I read Bird by Bird several years ago but think I didn’t really take it to heart… maybe didn’t even finish it! I still have it, and will dig it out. thanks for noting.

    besides my blog, I intend someday, of course, to write a fabulous you-know-what. (Hint: It starts with an “s” and ends with a “y,” and is the word you never really want to utter out loud lest you be scorned and mocked by those around you. Rightfully so.)

  • FilmFemme says:

    Haha KeegsMom…I recevied a t-shirt as a gift that says “your screenplay sucks.” And 4 or 5 unfinished ones that do just that.

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