the dialogue series screenwriter scott rosenberg
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– . – The Dialogue Series: Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg

 

The Dialogue Series: Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg

Scott Rosenberg is probably best known for his work on CON AIR and HIGH FIDELITY, but his resume includes both quirky independent movies and several Jerry Bruckheimer blockbusters (including the infamous KANGAROO JACK).

The DVD starts off with an account of a knife fight Rosenberg found himself embroiled in together with Steve Buscemi and Vince Vaughn, before moving on to more usual scriptwriting topics. Rosenberg hails from Boston and moved to Los Angeles chasing after a girl who hated him, and sort of drifted into scriptwriting once he arrived there.

As a writer, he freely acknowledges that his biggest weakness is structure: he dives straight into the first draft after doing a preliminary outline. His strengths, on the other hand, include a gift for dialogue and writing “cool stuff for actors,” i.e. scenes and moments actors want to play—a lesson for all scriptwriters to bear in mind.

Rarely has the storytelling creative process been captured so clearly and powerfully on film, and he comes off far better than most other writers in the series here. A very worthwhile DVD for all scriptwriters.

Rosenberg is an accomplished raconteur (with some acting experience), and his anecdotes about his career and his experiences on-set are entertaining and insightful. He’s brave enough to admit he hates what became of GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS, and reveals his very unique way of dealing with writer’s block (it involves lots of Budweiser).

The most “tragic” story here is how he wrote the most hated line in ARMAGEDDON—which was taken directly from his own life! He also talks at length about his best script Johnny Diamond, a private-eye story situated in 1961. It sounds really interesting and hopefully Rosenberg gets the opportunity to direct it some day.

Rosenberg is also subjected to “The Object” exercise, where he’s asked to think of a story based on (in this case) a blindfold. It’s a magical moment as he whips up a short story with a very strong lead character in no time. Rarely has the storytelling creative process been captured so clearly and powerfully on film, and he comes off far better than most other writers in the series here. A very worthwhile DVD for all scriptwriters.

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