What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
With rendition switcher


Question: How are writers treated in LA?

Derek Haas: Yes, yes, and I don’t know what the solution is on that. Idealistically writers should be the creative partner of the director in the movie, unfortunately there is a sense in Hollywood that we are a commodity that is easily fired and easily replaced, and it’s true and that happens a lot. If you are going to work in Hollywood you have to get your mind around the fact that you might be the first of many writers or you might be the first and then re-hired writer. So there is a pervasive sense that we are a cog in the machine and can be replaced. It’s a tough one to overcome because you can’t legislate creative input. The Guild has tried and that doesn’t work. I think that probably the main problem is that the final product of a movie is very collaborative and sometimes, I’ll put the burden on us, sometimes we get very precious about our work. Then when it comes time for the collaboration part to start, and a lot of times you’re working on that screen play way before a director comes on, but in Hollywood the director is the boss of the movie which includes being boss of the story and that’s a lot of times when things will go sour. Or you can be replaced just the whim of the fact that an actor who’s commanding a $20 million salary wants their main guy who collaborated with them on their last movie to polish up their dialogue, and then you’re fired and someone else is hired. It happens a lot. I think if you’re going to go into the business of screenwriting, if that’s going to be your creative output, you have to get your mind around the fact that it is a huge collaboration. What I like about having a partner is we are already collaborating which makes it easier, but when you walk into a room on a movie a lot of the times it’s the Producer, the Producer’s Assistant, the Director, the Director’s Assistant, the Studio Executive, his two Assistants and maybe the President of Production and then it’s you. And a lot of times it’s you against them trying to protect the integrity of what you wrote in the movie. So it helps when you have a partner so at least it’s two of you that are going in there.

Question: What's the worst thing about Hollywood?

Derek Haas: Oh, I think the thing I dislike the most about Hollywood is the, I’ll get back to what I was saying earlier, but the way a writers are treated like commodities a lot of times.  Sometimes that’s an unfair criticism because I feel like sometimes you bring it onto yourself a little bit. If I could just wave my magic wand it would be to have writers, let’s say you were the first writer and they hired a second writer, a writer should always be on set of the movie because too many things happen as a movie is being made that it would be beneficial had a writer been there to either police the overall plot or even come up with a better line than somebody’s gonna say improvise on their own. That’s my pie in the sky thinking.


The Collaboration Equation

Newsletter: Share: