Question: Do screenwriters have to choose between writing
either an indie passion project or a shallow blockbuster?
Rubin: Yes and no. It’s a false choice because you never know
what's going to work. Trying to guess what will please the industry,
whether it’s the indie industry or the commercial industry is almost
impossible and trying to do that is a fool’s errand. So, in the end,
you should just do what you want and see who salutes it.
other hand, it’s constantly a choice. You're seduced by wanting to
write a very blockbuster hit. The kind of thing that would have mass
appeal and would be most likely to be accepted by the studios because
that’s where most of the money is and the biggest chance of getting a
thing produced. But, that’s not necessarily going to work. And same
with going the indie route, the indie market is very particular. If
you’ve got a story with a dysfunctional family or drugs or some weird
kind of sexual relationship, you're in. That’s the indie world. If
you're just trying to do a particularly intelligent commercial studio
film, that’s what - I had a manager who called those the tweeners. The
sort of between indie film and Hollywood films and it’s - nobody wants
it. It’s going to be difficult to place. It all comes down to luck.
if it’s written skillfully, it all comes down to luck anyway. That
skillful thing has a chance of making it and it might never be noticed
at all. I’m constantly trying to figure out how to be as commercial as
possible and still be original. Those are movies that I like. It’s not
just because I’m trying to please some market. But, those are the
movies I most enjoy and so that’s what I’m trying to create and it’s not
- the other method that some writers take is one for me, one for them.
Okay, this is my heart project and I’m going to make it very
true to myself and consistent with my beliefs and my artistic
sensibilities. Maybe someone will make it, maybe someone won't, but I
will feel good writing it and then I’ll finish that and then I’ll write a
vampire movie. And so, one for me, one for them and you can write a
screenplay quickly enough that that is an acceptable way to go through
your professional like. You can get through year after year like that.
Question: What current trends in moviemaking do you
Danny Rubin: It does seem that it’s all about
style. There's very little substance. It’s telling the same old
stories, but with a new kind of visual panache and that’s okay, but
that’s seems to - it’s like candy and that seems to be the tendency.
Not to even attempt anything more ambitious content-wise, but they're
always trying new ambitious things in terms of style. So, that’s kind
of fun, but I’m tired of it and kind of like many people, growing
cynical about movies and would like to see more movies of substance that
have stories to tell that affect my life in some way.
Recorded on May 12, 2010
Interviewed by Paul Hoffman