Thursday, August 15, 2013

TFIOS screenwriters do Reddit Q&A and talk TFIOS movie

TFIOS movie screenwriters, Scott and Michael, did a Reddit AMA where they talked about The Spectacular Now, 500 Days of Summer, their process of screenwriting, TFIOS and so much more. Here are some of the TFIOS questions they answered:

Hi guys. Can I trust you guys to make me, a 6ft bearded guy, come out of the TFIOS film bawling my eyes out?
if not, see a doctor immediately, check those tear ducts. - Scott
Thanks so much for doing this! I wanted to ask a few questions: How did you guys come about picking up TFIOS and then adapting it into a screenplay? And how was both your experiences of reading the book for the first time? Also TFIOS already has a huge fanbase coming with it, did that influence the way you guys worked on it? Especially since a lot of quotes of this book have become VERY popular.
Thanks so much!
the true story is my dad had just died of cancer. this book had come along and people were loving it but the producers were afraid to approach us knowing what i was going through. luckily, i decided to read the book and of course we fell in love with it the same way you guys did. and because the situation was very fresh in my mind, i think we were able to tackle it with the right spirit and in the right way. i dont know why they hired us to adapt it, as opposed to the many other people they could have hired, but we sure are glad they did. and we hope we did it justice! - scott
Which one of your screenplays did you find to be the most challenging to write?
they all present their own challenges, of course, but sometimes the challenge is the thing thats exciting in the first place. capturing tim tharp's first person voice in spectacular now was a fun challenge. the same with hazel grace's voice in fault. the challenge of 500 was being able to open and honest about my own personal, ridiculous issues. we love a challenge! - scott
Is tfios going to be awesome? Is it going to stay true to the book?
oh yeah. we feel very much like the protectors of this book. one of the reasons we wanted to do is was to make sure no one else did for fear they'd change too much or get things wrong. of course a book and a movie are two very different things, but overall we suspect fans of the novel will be happy when we see the movie. ask john, he's feeling good so far! - scott
In an interview you guys said that with The Spectacular Now (and maybe TFIOS?) you have to make the script cinematic while doing justice to the original material. How does that work with your outline process? How do you know which scenes would be good for screen and which to cut?
we don't always know! we talk about it a lot. we outline and re-outline. and we understand that a script is very fluid - it will change when a director comes on board. a script is a map for the director to go make a movie. and we will spend a lot of time with the director talking about how to make it more cinematic. - Michael
as everyone has said, i love both (500) Days and The Spectacular Now so much, and i'm looking forward to what you guys have in the future! i have 3 questions, hopefully i'm not too late to ask a question because i think i found this late D:
how was the writing process different for writing The Fault in Our Stars, knowing it has such a crazy fan-base with all the nerd-fighters anticipating it's release, and would you guys adapt any other of John Green's novels'?
My last question is, i have always felt that i can somehow maybe get my voice out there in script form. While i can just write a narrative, what books or computer programs would you recommend to get started? Thank You!!! :]
i dont think the fact that fault was so beloved and had such a huge fan base was an influence on our writing process or on what we kept and didnt keep from the book. the truth is, the book is just so good that it made no sense to deviate from it just for the sake of deviation. our goal was to capture, translate, and visually communicate what all of you (and both of us) loved so much about this book. and we hopefully did that. - Scott
How do you hope the die hard TFIOS fans react to the way you've adapted it? I know there are always issues with things not being included due to time and whatnot, but do you think the fans will react positively to how you've understood the book and adapted it? Thanks for doing an AmA guys :)
it's our hope that fans of the book are just as passionate about the movie as they are the novel. thats all we can hope for, really. as a fan of john's and as fans of "fault," our aim is to make sure everything great in the novel finds its way into the movie. a really hard thing to do but we definitely feel like everyone involved wants the exact same thing. so we're confident...
was it weird working on such a project like The Fault in our Stars. as I understand it is quite a sad project isn't it? where there any challenges? :~)
its sad, its funny, its romantic, its hopeful, its all the things we love. you should read it, its awesome! - scott
How complicated was the notes process on a priorly unheralded screenplay like 500 Days of Summer versus a 'brand' property like The Fault in Our Stars? You guys write films that are a little left of center. Any interesting studio headbutting anecdotes to share?
on both projects the notes process was fairly simple - sorry, no headbutting anecdotes. Peter Rice, who ran Fox Searchlight, had only one really smart note on 500 - and that note ultimately led to the reality / expectations splitscreen. on TFIOS the only notes were a few typos! we start shooting TFIOS in 2 weeks so hopefully we don't have to change anything between now and then... -Michael
John Green said your script moved him and he barely cries with TFIOS stuff. As writer of the screenplay, did you get emotional writing it? or were you a bit detached?
thats great to hear about john. i didnt know that. reading the book, i of course was very emotional, and probably not just because i had just lost my dad. the book packs that kind of punch for everyone i think. reading the script, i kept my emotions in check - but watching some of the auditions, man, i was a weeping mess! we've got an amazing cast and i think its gonna be really moving. invest in kleenex stock, everybody. - Scott

Check out the whole Q&A at Reddit

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