Screenplay

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Breaking In: Abraham Lincoln, Verbosity Hunter

Abraham Lincoln was a great writer and public speaker– and a master of brevity.  His entire Gettysburg Address was just 272 words.  A tall man, he knew just how long or short anything should be.  Once, while riding in a stagecoach, Abraham Lincoln was asked by one of his fellow passengers how long a man’s...

Image courtesy of Utne Magazine

Behind the Lines with DR: The Ugliest Note… Ever.

I can’t say this any simpler. This is about the worst script note I ever received. Was it an unfortunate situation to be in? Hardly. It came from the mouth of a movie studio president. I was behind the doors of his Citizen-Kane-sized office, comfortably parked on his couch, at the end of a...

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Behind the Lines with DR: I’m a Lying Liar

I’m a lying liar. I admit the lie and that I’ve been lying the lie for some years now. I feel the need to confess. So here goes nothin’. But first, a little history. It was my one and only honeymoon. Hawaii (cliché alert). My spanking new wife and I were in a popular...

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Behind the Lines with DR: Writer as Sacrificial Lamb aka Doug a la Carte

Gary Ross, writer-director of films such as Seabiscuit and Pleasantville, invited me to join in a round-table luncheon with Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey. The congressman had shown interest in meeting with movie-making word-merchants to discuss a subject plaguing that particular news quarter: Violence in Movies. The tragic events of Columbine were still in the...

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SXSW Recap: Five Things You Ought to Know About Pee-wee Herman

Pee-wee Herman has been popping up on talk shows and at surprise live appearances lately to promote his new HBO special, The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway. Seeing Pee-wee is always a treat, but it was equally delightful to catch up with Paul Reubens, the man behind the iconic character, at a SXSW panel...