SCRIPT INDUSTRY EXPERT Q&A: Meet Ray Morton of ‘Meet the Reader’

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Script brings you behind the scenes to get to know our family of contributors on a more personal level. Meet senior contributor Ray Morton, author of Meet the Reader.

SCRIPT INDUSTRY EXPERT Q&A: Meet Ray Morton of 'Meet the Reader' | Script MagazineRay Morton is a senior contributor at Script, a writer and script consultant. His new book A Quick Guide to Screenwriting is available online and in bookstores. Morton analyzes screenplays for production companies, producers, and individual writers. He is available for private consultation and can be reached at Follow Ray on Twitter: @RayMorton1.

What was the first movie you ever remember seeing or the one that made the most impact on you as a child?

First movie I remember seeing (and it’s also the one that made the biggest impact on me): The original 1933 version of KING KONG. I watched it on TV with my dad.

First movie I ever saw in a theater: Walt Disney’s CHARLIE THE LONESOME COUGAR. We actually went to the theater to see a re-release of THE JUNGLE BOOK, which was on a double bill with CTLC. CHARLIE ran first.

The movie that made me want to make movies: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

I can never answer that question. I don’t have one single favorite. It’s easier for me to answer the question “What movies will you always drop everything you are doing and watch?” KING KONG (1933). KING KONG (1976). CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE. JAWS. THE APARTMENT. LOCAL HERO. BRINGING UP BABY. ORDINARY PEOPLE.

What word or scenario do you never want to see in a screenplay again?


What profession did your parents want you to have?

If there was one, they never told me what it was. My folks were always very supportive of what I wanted to do.

What profession, other than your current one, would you like to try if you could have a do-over?

Reporter for The New York Times. Astronaut. I am not kidding about either of these.

What drew you to the entertainment industry and specifically, why did you want to help writers?

Answer to 1st question: I wanted to make movies. Answer to 2nd question: I saw so many talented people foiled by things they didn’t know that I did, and I thought I could help them by sharing that knowledge.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I don’t imagine there’s much you do know about me, and I’d like to keep it that way.

What do you wish you knew about the industry before you jumped in?

That it was more specifically a business than I thought it was.

If you could impart only one piece of knowledge onto writers, what would it be?

This is a profession. Learn how it works and learn how to conduct yourself as a professional.

If you could go back in time and talk to your 18-year-old self, what advice would you give?

Be more focused.

If you have any other fun tidbits you want to add, go for it!

Nobody cares about your hopes and dreams so don’t look to others to support or encourage them. Instead, encourage and support them yourself. But also learn how to translate those hopes and dreams into practical, achievable goals. Because if you don’t, you will not achieve them.

Read Ray Morton’s column, Meet the Reader

Ray’s website:
Follow Ray on Twitter: @raymorton1
Ray’s screenwriting books are available on Amazon.

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