The team of Diamond and Weissman have been writing movies and mentoring filmmakers for decades. In this practical guide, they take the aspiring writer by the hand and guide them through the logistics and tools of writing an attention-grabbing, audience-pleasing screenplay. Readers will learn the interests and needs of managers, agents, producers, executives, financiers, directors, and actors. Diamond and Weissman attribute their phenomenal success to a career-long focus on the motives and priorities of film sponsors and benefactors.
Whether it’s a theatrical release or a streaming movie, a major, big-budget tent pole or an intimate, character-driven indie drama, Diamond and Weissman apply their time-tested approach. This fresh way of thinking will resonate with writers, industry professionals, and cinephiles excited to peek under the hood at what makes their favorite films tick.
Bulletproof: Writing Scripts that Don’t Get Shot Down is the rare screenwriting instructional penned by authors with both massive credits and decades of business experience.
Enjoy my conversation with David Diamond and David Weissman.
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Alex Ferrari 0:05
Now today's guests are David Diamond and David Weissman, the author of bulletproof writing scripts that don't get shot down. Now the David's, as I like to call them have been working in the film industry for a long time and work on some very, very big studio movies. Especially one of my personal favorites, family man, which is, oddly enough, one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time, starring Nicolas Cage, and to Leone. And it was an amazing film. And we got to talk about what it was like launching that script and getting it sold and getting it done by Universal Studios. And then we also go deep into their processes, their habits, and also go deep into their book on you know, bulletproof Avi obviously, the book is called bulletproof. It has to be on the bulletproof screenwriting podcast, I mean, it was just a no brainer. So we really go through a lot of very cool and unique ideas on how they approach the screenwriting process. So without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with David Weissman and David Diamond. I like to welcome the show, David diamond and David Weissman. Thank you so much for being on the show, guys.
David Diamond 3:44
Thanks for having us.
Alex Ferrari 3:45
So first, before we even get started, I have to tell you, I am a huge fan of one of your films that you that you wrote called Family Man with Nicolas Cage, it is one of my favorite Christmas movies ever. And every year that in diehard obviously, are both the films that my wife and I watch every single Christmas. So I have to ask you a few questions about that. Before we even get started. How did you like come up with that concept? And how like that whole project get put together? Because was one of your early films if I'm not mistaken, right?
David Weissman 4:16
Yes, yes, is the first film it's the first film studio film that we got made. And I think the idea, we were just sort of sort of playing around with the idea of, you know, a guy sort of wakes up with a family whatever but then we were sort of playing with this idea of what if there was a computer or something that could calculate the every decision that you made and what the paths going forward are and there would be billions of different a different choices and and I don't know how that I did just then sort of came out of it. This guy. What if you know one choice was different. One big decision was Different and where that life would diverge. And then that was the rest was that and we I mean that, amazingly enough that pitch, and we pitch that movie. It was one of the first things we ever sold. The pitch took half an hour to pitch, and much of the dialogue that's in the movie was in the pitch,
Alex Ferrari 5:21
Really? Because what I find what I find fascinating about this? Well, first of all, it was only it was a pitch that got you the job, which is a rarity nowadays, to get a job based off of a pitch Correct. Is that Is that fair to say?
David Diamond 5:33
Absolutely. It'd be very difficult to do that now. Maybe impossible.
Alex Ferrari 5:36
Exactly. But what I love about the film so much is that it grows with you. So when I first saw it, I didn't have kids. And I did have family. So when I first saw cans came out in 2006 1000 2000, right? So when I first saw it, I was like, I just loved the movie. But then fast forward 1015 years, I have kids and I have a wife and and my wife does the same thing. We're like, wow, it just you look at it so differently when you have children.
David Weissman 6:03
Yeah, well, it's expand the same thing for us. Because when we first wrote it, this David was just I think, starting the relationship with his wife, right?
David Diamond 6:18
I was just dating my wife, when we sold the pitch, right? I remember pitching it to her on a train. Right after we sold it before we were married. And when we were but our daughter was six months old when we were shooting, shooting the movie,
David Weissman 6:38
So it spanned. So I was single throughout the whole thing. So I was like you when you first saw the movie, you know, to me, the experience was always the other guy.
David Diamond 6:46
He was New York Jack.
Alex Ferrari 6:50
Because New York Jack looks fantastic. Nicolas Cage in New York, he's got all the money and the power and the women and it's like, but then at the as you get older,
David Diamond 6:58
I want him over to my side. But in New Jersey Jack
Alex Ferrari 7:01
Exactly. But eventually, as you grow older, and you get a little wiser, more mature, hopefully, you realize that New Jersey Jack is kind of a much better place to be. Yeah, as the character goes through in the movie.
David Diamond 7:13
That is true. Although I think, you know, one of the thoughts that we always had about the movie, as even as we were making it was that it's not so black and white, that, you know, you make certain compromises or sacrifices or life isn't negotiation, whichever life you're living, you give certain things up to have what you have. And it's just a matter of deciding where your priorities are. That's what the entire movie is about is defining your priorities.
Alex Ferrari 7:45
No, go ahead, no go ahead.
David Weissman 7:48
I was just gonna say that, you know, taking, taking great love for granted is is something that, you know, a lot of us do when we're super ambitious and young and pursuing that thing. And I think there was a lot for us in that because, you know, as writers, we also had these conflicts of, you know, what do you give up for your career? What do you and now, of course, the place we all end up, or many of us end up is in the family situation. And that's the thing that endures. And that's the thing that, you know, for us is the absolute priority now. So we've we've gone on the same journey that you have, I think about the movie and with the movie,
Alex Ferrari 8:34
And you just don't want to be the creepy guy in the club. You just don't want to be that dude. I mean, you just don't want to be that guy. I really like it. I've seen it like I see I remember when I was clubbing back in the day, you see that guy who's like 55. And he's just hanging out trying to pick up 20 year olds. I'm like, Oh, is that? Yeah,
David Diamond 8:55
That sounds super creepy. And I can tell you from personal experience when you have a 20 year old, more creepy.
Alex Ferrari 9:03
I have twin seven year old girls. And I don't even want to think about that. But just Oh, but there are stages in life. And I think that's something that when you're young, you don't realize you think you're going to be young forever. And this is the life you're going to leave but as stages go on in life, you do make those changes and that movie just makes it so wonderfully put together. So thank you again for making that film again. And every Christmas that and diehard on the blu ray pattern on the bluray
David Diamond 9:29
Diehard more often.
Alex Ferrari 9:32
Arguably the greatest Christmas movie of all time. And I know Bruce says it's not a Christmas I don't care. It's the greatest one of the greatest Christmas movies. Now, so let me ask you, how did you guys first of all, how did you guys get together? How did you get into the business? How does this work?
David Diamond 9:48
So on one foot, we went to high school together so we've been best friends since we were 15 years old. We parted for college, I went to NYU David went to Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and then University of Michigan. And then after college, I moved out here to LA with some friends from school, and I was working for a producer. And during my year doing that, that's when I realized I wanted to be writing movies. So I left town to do that for a little bit. And part of the time, I was gone. I moved in with Dave, who was in graduate school at University of Wisconsin in Madison. And he was studying Chinese history. And I was prerequisite
Alex Ferrari 10:37
Prerequisite to be a screenwriter obvious.
David Weissman 10:38
Ni Hao Ma
David Diamond 10:42
That's the extent of his Chinese. That's all I remember. And about four months, entire time together, living together in Madison, we had an idea for a script, and he was finished writing his master's thesis. And I was finished reading the script, I went there to write, and we started writing it. And and that started a process that took a few years, I guess, while each of us was right, and we were reading together, anytime he had a break in his academic calendar, summers we would spend together writing or if I was on winter break, I would go find him. And we would write together. And we were also writing separately. And, and then in 1991 91 decision, we made a decision that if you know, the stuff we were writing together was getting more traction than this stuff either of us was writing separately. We just decided that, you know, if we really wanted to be serious about this and do this, we should do it together and make a commitment. So he dropped out of grad school. Yeah. And he moved out here and
David Weissman 11:50
I dropped out of grad school. And on the three day drive from Providence, Rhode Island, to Los Angeles, I forgot every word of Chinese that I had learned in the previous eight years.
Alex Ferrari 12:03
Fantastic. And you guys, so you guys get out here obviously the bunny they just start throwing money at you, obviously right away.
David Diamond 12:10
Yes. Right. So this was another in retrospect, it's funny, it wasn't funny at the time. But we sort of cemented this partnership on the cyclone at Coney Island. Yeah, we went for a ride on the cyclone. We're gonna do this. No surrender. And I told Dave that I really feel like if we partner we will be successful within a year. He guaranteed it. He didn't just tell me it's like it's a year. I did. I did. 12 months guaranteed. I felt and I felt frankly, at the time I was being kind of conservative. I mean, a year that's long enough for us at the time. It was long enough to write probably three screenplays.
Alex Ferrari 12:52
How old are you? How old are you at this point?
David Diamond 12:55
We're 25 I think? No, no. 25. In the we were in our 20s
Alex Ferrari 13:02
Mid 20s, mid 20s,
David Weissman 13:04
David Diamond 13:05
And so you know, he does the thing he drops out of grad school. He tells his parents I'm dropping out of grad school. They love that.
Alex Ferrari 13:12
They loved it. Fantastic. Yeah. To be a screenwriter in LA. Fantastic.
David Weissman 13:16
Yeah. I'm moving out to LA to become a writer.
David Diamond 13:20
Yeah. So we move in together, we start writing cut to a year later. And we are when I tell you we are no further along than when we started. Nothing, nothing.
Alex Ferrari 13:33
Nothing. You knew nobody else that you didn't know a year earlier.
David Weissman 13:37
We had not only not every meal at Subway, every meal,
David Diamond 13:40
But I had I had started dating someone at the time, not my wife. And and once I came into the apartment, I said to him, you know, I'm dating this girl and I'm starting to think like I might one day want to get married. And I don't know if this is gonna work. And he looked at me like there was a graduate school for a guaranteed man. Oh, yeah, that's right. That's right. I said a year. Okay. But the truth is, it took two years to go. Yeah, a couple months over two years. We had actually with about a year. I moved out in January of 1992. In March of 1993, we had written and we're making a independent movie. For a comput for sin intel that was like a sequel to like a, you know, sort of a mildly successful title they had for which we were paid. I think $2,500 So we don't really consider that our first that wasn't really success. It was about a year later. I believe it was April of 1994 that we sold our first spec so and that was what really launched our career.
Alex Ferrari 15:00
And then how did you end up? I'm assuming you found an agent or something like that during that time?
David Diamond 15:05
Yeah, yeah, we did, we had an agent who had read one of our earlier specs and responded to the writing in the script, he didn't think he could sell the script. This is a story that we tell in our book, which we'll talk about in a bit. But it was an effective writing sample. And he said to us, I don't think that I can sell this, but I like the writing. And if you come up with an idea that's a little more in the mainstream, we can really launch your career. And we sat down together and talked about ideas and chose an idea. And we, we wrote that script, and he sold it and launched our career,
Alex Ferrari 15:45
What's that script ever get made?
David Diamond 15:48
That never got made a script was called the whiz kid, we sold it to 20th Century Fox, with a young Elijah Wood attached to star. And it just sort of went off course, in development. Sure. A very typical development story. But you know, it really, both in the way it was sold, because it was sold as a spec, there was a blind script commitment in the sale. So it was like one of these big sales that gets in the trades. And you know what one thing the agent had said to us when he was when we were discussing what to do, because he read the script that we wrote, and he liked it. And he said, basically, look, I could send this out, I could get you a few meetings, maybe out of one of those meetings, you come up with an idea, you pitch that idea, you get paid Writers Guild minimum to write it, you could go that way. But there's a there's maybe a better way, which is write a different script, that's a big idea, sell it on spec, make a big splash. And suddenly, you're sort of entering the business at a different level. And we took his advice, which was really the best advice I think anybody had ever given us. And maybe the best advice we'd ever gotten, because maybe the only advice we have ever been, but exactly what he said came true. That's what happened. And we had the good fortune of sort of entering the business at a slightly higher level than then we would have had we not sold that spec. And out of that, you know, uh, out of that deal, there was a blind script commitment. And that that became a script that we wrote called Guam goes to the moon, which was really the script that we wrote the kind of made us sort of well known in, in development circles at the studios. And that script really sort of became almost like a brand or something that people really knew of ours. And then family man, was the next thing we sold. And that was the first one to get made. And it only took five years. So
Alex Ferrari 17:58
So one year tops. Yeah, one year.
David Weissman 18:03
From the time that he told me to come out here, which was in 1991, to family man getting made in 1999. Right. Yours. Thank you very much.
Alex Ferrari 18:16
And that's um, was a fairly big success from when it came out. It was a studio release. It did very well in the theater, if I remember correctly, right. Yeah. It wasn't like, it didn't make a billion dollars. But it did. It did well, for a movie.
David Weissman 18:27
It wasn't there. But it was a solid. It was a solid performer at the bar was one of the successful movies of that Christmas season. Yeah. And then it's amazing legs.
Alex Ferrari 18:37
It was about to say must it's still it plays all the time. And I see it all the time.
David Weissman 18:41
Yeah, it's really it's a movie that I think has, as you say, and this was very, I think very perceptive, the movie is aged well, I think because it ages in the same way that people's lives ages, you know, the values that it was sort of about I think people appreciate it, and they'd watch it every year. And I think that it's that's been that's been wonderful for us to see. And in our career. It's been a it's been a great thing. It was also you know, it was really the first thing it was the first studio movie we got made. It was a really exciting time. We were on set all the time. They they we weren't we weren't we sort of every one of the Hollywood cliches about studio movies did not apply to this we were really really respected on said we were young guys but treated as much more seasoned veterans and the director was was, you know, was super inclusive as the actress super inclusive of us. In fact, the joke that the producers said about us was they kept saying you guys right like old like old guys. And they met in a nice way. Of course. Actually. We're old guys. I don't think it came out that way. But But I think what they were saying was there was a maturity to the writing that they really appreciated. And and I think that sort of reflected in how the movie is aged.
Alex Ferrari 20:07
And one last thing I will leave family man alone after this. It is Nicolas Cage being very Nicolas Cage he just so wonderful. It's it was just
David Weissman 20:17
He was so amazing to when he he sort of inhabited that character a way that we never you could you can't imagine it until you see it happening. And I remember the four days of rehearsal that we did for that movie as being really one of the most exciting things that had ever happened in in my career in our career. Because it was the first time we got to see what he did with this character and the life that he gave it. And it was completely unexpected in so many ways. And that's his I think that's his genius is that he took that that character that we had sort of imagined for a long time, because we've been working on this movie for over five years, and gave it life that we hadn't imagined. And it was pretty great.
Alex Ferrari 21:03
That's what good actors do.
David Diamond 21:04
Yeah, that was really a gift. And I wish it for all of your listeners that, you know, a really good actor takes lines, there were lines, we thought they were jokes. And he didn't play them for jokes at all. He played them 100% committed to Yeah, straight. And then there were other lines that we did not think were jokes that coming out of his mouth. Were so fun. And so it was every scene was a surprise and it was always a pleasant surprise.
Alex Ferrari 21:35
So you guys have sat down and now written a book about screenwriting in the screenwriting process, which I have to say an amazing title because the title of ours podcast is the bulletproof screenplay podcast. So you know, when, when Ken reached out is that, Hey, there's this book, do you guys want to talk to the authors? I'm like, Well, of course bulletproof has to be on the bulletproof screenplay podcast. So the book is called bulletproof writing scripts that don't get shot down. What was the concept behind the book? I mean, there's, there's, I think, a couple of books on screen writing, not too many, but just a few. So what what you wanted to throw, you know, you throw your hat in the ring, and what you thought was going to be different about your approach?
David Diamond 22:16
Yeah, so the first thing that's different about our approach is there are as you say, there are a lot of books on screenwriting out there, there are not a lot of books on screenwriting, that are written by people who have made movies produced by movie studios. So in that sense, we're part of a smaller group, I think. We haven't read a ton of these books, from what we've seen, most of them really do have something at least valuable to offer. But what we felt we had to offer was our 25 years of experience writing movies for movie studios. And the specific approach that we take in the book, in addition to looking at the process, from the perspective of developing character and ideas, and sort of from the bottom up, is to look at the process simultaneously from the top down, meaning, what are managers and agents and actors and directors and studios and financiers, and marketing people? What are they looking for, from this idea, and from this process that you're about to embark on? Because without a partner, you're not selling your movie or getting your movie made? It's just not gonna happen. So you know, writers may write in a vacuum, but movies do not get made in a vacuum. So what we were trying to do in this book is, you know, we're trying to answer all the questions we've ever been asked by people who are trying to write movies and write for television, and, and share our experience, a big piece of which is the realization that when you start working on something you really have to be able to envision, who's gonna make this movie? Where is this movie going to be released? How's it going to be released? How's it going to be marketed, who's going to be in it? These are all questions that that need to be considered throughout the process.
Alex Ferrari 24:30
Yeah, and I find that screenwriters don't think about things like that, because it's just all about the art, or the of the or the craft of the story, but they're like they they'll spend six months on a screenplay, but they have no idea how they're going to sell it. They have no idea what the marketplace is looking for, or if they're looking for something like this, or even if it's an original idea, you can have I mean, look at family, man. It's a great original concept. I don't think the marketplace was like we need a family man. Like it wasn't something They were asking for, but it showed up at the right place at the right time. And and you had ideas about how and where it could go? I think a lot of screenwriters don't think that way. I think this is a great idea for a book as well as the other stuff that you teach in as far as craft is concerned.
David Weissman 25:14
I think I think that's very true. I mean, screenwriting is different, right. I mean, when it's, I think the one kind of writing that, that you do that when you finish, it's really just the beginning of a process. And so you don't really have anything other than a screenplay. And as far as I know, selling a screenplay that hasn't been made into a movie is something that no one has ever done. So I mean, nobody, people read screenplays of movies that have been made, but they rarely outside of the business read screenplays of movies that haven't been made. And so for us, the probably one of the biggest epiphanies we had in our career was the moment that we realize that we aren't going to get anywhere in this business, if all we're doing is trying to amuse each other. Because first of all, we are easily amused by each other, obviously, outright, obviously, in a room together, and we try to make each other laugh, we've been doing that since we're literally 14 years old, trying to make each other laugh, and it's one of the most satisfying things we can do. That being said, no one else cares. So when we, when we realize this, it was such a such an sort of inspired moment for us because it it brought everything into perspective about this as a collaborative medium, and, and that if we were going to do this successfully, as professionals, we had to from the very earliest stages, start thinking about all the stakeholders down the line who we need to get this movie made. And so doing I think it helped us in our career. But it's also one of the one of the biggest things that we've tried to we've tried to give other people who ask us for advice as people do. And and we decided, You know what, let's, let's put it in a book, let's let's systematically sort of dissect what we what we've done and how we do it. And maybe it'll give some insight to people, maybe maybe it'll be helpful or not. But, you know, we think it's been it's been helpful for us. So we hope it'll be helpful for other people to
Alex Ferrari 27:31
Now what is the biggest mistake or thing that you see that makes you cringe in first time screenplays, because I'm sure you've read a couple of them in your life.
David Weissman 27:41
Hey, I think what people think his story and what is actually story are very different things. And, you know, a lot of people, I think, assume that if something happened to them, and they found it interesting or fun, or, or meaningful. And that's not to deny that it isn't interesting or fun or meaningful for them. But it's not necessarily a story that will engage other people. And I think that, you know, there's so many mistakes that you can make along the way that are typical mistakes. And, you know, I don't even know, like, we still make them, you know, all the time. We were guys that we don't nail anything to like the 10th draft really like we are, we are serial rewriters. And, and we know we have to be because, you know, for us, the process is a long process. So maybe the biggest mistake a screenwriter can make is showing an early draft to somebody who is in not just a an advisory role, but like a decision making role. It's a huge mistake.
Alex Ferrari 29:02
But isn't it? Isn't it the definition of a professional who goes and sits down and does 10 drafts as opposed to the amateur who will release the second draft saying we're good work good. I think this is one year one year that's all we need one only takes one year, just one year move out to LA quit graduate school, it's gonna be fine. It's gonna be fine. But isn't that truly the definition of a professional professional sits there and understands that they have to pound it in pounded and tighten and squeeze and chisel where as opposed to leave it out there and just like oh, second draft, we're good.
David Diamond 29:37
Yeah. Yeah, I think also a big difference between the professional and the non professional. And one of the biggest mistakes we see people make is there's a certain point in the process where your movie reveals itself, where it starts to be clear, you can tell as you're reading someone's script on page 65 And okay, I get what this movie is trying to be, I get what this movie is supposed to be, you haven't really delivered on that. But it's clear to me what it's sort of asking to be what this idea is asking today. And I think a lot of us, including the two of us, have a tendency to want the movie to be what we want it to be, there's a certain point, you have to sort of give it over to the idea and let the idea be your guide. That's hard to do. But it's also very liberating in a way if you if you can do it, but a lot of times, we can talk to writers about their scripts and say, Well, I wanted this or I wanted that. And, you know, we get that. But at a certain point, it's not about what you want. It's you have an idea. And this is what your idea once
Alex Ferrari 30:49
It's to be of service to the idea to the store, as opposed to your ego, correct what I want and I want to control which I think writers in general have a control, we're control freaks, because we'd like to control the whole world that we're creating. But in many times, you're right, that idea is that wild horse, you just got to let it go. If you try to hold it in, it's not gonna do well for you.
David Weissman 31:08
Correct! And if you listen, if you're a control, freak, screenwriting might not be for you. Because you don't control anything. I mean, maybe if you're Steven Soderbergh and you're a writer, director, editor, cinematographer everything okay, then you can but you know, even even a director in this business has to count on so many people being creative in the right way to make something great. So it's not a good it's I don't think it's screenwriting is a good career for control freaks. But I think you're right that tons of control freaks become screenwriters
Alex Ferrari 31:41
Without question. Now, what is the difference between an idea for a movie and an idea for a screenplay?
David Weissman 31:52
Well, we've only had probably five ideas for a movie in our career, because I think that's all been made into a movie. Okay. We've had about 700 ideas for screenplays. Maybe it's a percentage thing, what do you know, the screenplay is a document that's formatted in a particular way. So if I wake up in the morning, and I say, I had a dream last night, I think it'd be a great idea for a movie. And I start writing and I write for three days straight, and I write 90 pages. And I have character names. Sure. And dialogue, and I can even have special effects. And my dream is in there. That's a screenplay. That's a screenplay. Making some sense of it, what that's about what the themes are, how the characters grow from the beginning to the end. If I don't have that, I don't have a movie. And so for us, that's really the difference between writing a screenplay and writing a movie. And you know, thinking, I think a lot of writers when they start, they're inspired by things, as Dave was saying, before that have happened to them or feelings that they have that they want to get out. It's all very useful, good stuff to think about and write about. But if you don't really figure out the full idea of the movie, and the growth of the character, and what the theme of the movie is, and the whole world that you're going to present in your story, then you do not have a movie, you may have a screenplay, but not a movie. Mind Not, not every movie gets made into a movie, right? I mean, we have lots of screenplays, that are movies that have never gotten made. But if you write one, even if it doesn't get made, it will help you tremendously in your career. Because the one thing that every development executive and director and Manager An agent worth anything can do is identify a movie, they're good at it. People, you know, you can't fool you can't fool them. So it may not get made. Because I mean, this is a business. They cost a lot of money to make a movie tastes change styles change politics. Yeah, sure. Politics, whatever. But if you've written a movie, it will help you know. So that's why it's a worthy goal.
Alex Ferrari 34:16
How many screenplays Do you have between you and your career? There's a point to this, there's a point to
David Weissman 34:23
This such an embarrassing question. It's I don't know, like 100 probably write something like something like I mean, I think it ridiculous
David Diamond 34:33
Just just since we turned professional in 1994. I think that they're probably around 70. Yeah. And then there's at least 15 that we wrote before we were professional, right or more. Yeah. And then you know, there's fragments of another dozen more that we never finished, right? I don't know. It's
Alex Ferrari 34:59
Well, it's not embarrassing. I don't look at it as embarrassing because I asked the question for a specific reason, because I think that so many screenwriters just show up quitting graduate school showing up to LA. And they have the one screenplay. And they spent if they spent four years on that one screenplay, and they have everything on it, where that is an amateur move where a professional like you just said was amazing. Like before we turned professional, we had 15 screenplays. So you had the experience of going through that process 15 times. I'm sure you learned a lot during that process to the point where when you turn professional, you probably added another 15 or whatever, before you started really gaining simply do you need to go through that process? You need to kind of go through that and that's something that most screenwriters especially young screenwriters, they don't think because they think that one idea that's that's the one that's going to make them a billion dollars and it's not that it's a numbers game.
David Diamond 35:52
Yeah, well, it's it is a numbers game and it's also you know, this is we talk about it in the book. This is the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours rule, right? This is this is when you learn how you learn your craft and you practice it and it's batting practice. You don't step up to the plate and hit a home run in the major leagues the first time you swing a bat right got to go through literally go through the minors you got to go through all the all the steps before there are no shortcuts. Yeah. And even the genius have to do it. You did Michael Michael
Alex Ferrari 36:23
Jordan practice and practice and practice until he was in he was and he was arguably much better than all three of us put together on on our best days. It doesn't even compare to his worst day when he had 104 degree temperature and he still wanted
David Weissman 36:40
A great scene when we had 104 degree temperature. Amazing. scene
Alex Ferrari 36:45
Exactly. Now, what advice can you give writers where they can find inspiration? Because a lot I mean, inspiration, finding that well of inspiration when the Muse doesn't show up all that kind of stuff. What's your advice on that?
David Diamond 36:58
Well, I think those are actually two different questions. Okay. You know, one thing is one question is where do you find your inspiration? And the other question is, what do you do when your muse doesn't show? Right? Okay. The truth is, if you wrote only when you are inspired, none of us would get anywhere, there would be no movies would get me, you know, this is a job. So, you know, Dave and I, we work bankers hours, we take our kids to school, we show up, we work from, you know, eight to four 430. And then we pick our kids up, and we have dinner with our families. When he says at 430. He means 10 to 12. Yeah, something like
Alex Ferrari 37:36
I could read between the lines, sir.
David Diamond 37:39
So you got to show up every day, whether you're inspired or not, I think that any anyone who's inclined to do this probably has their own access to inspiration, whether it's music or other movies, or wherever you find your creative muse. You know, everything's on the table, and everything's legitimate. I think that the bigger more important question is, what do you do when the Muse doesn't show up? And the answer is, you go to work, you go to work, and you have you have to, you have to be inspired by the prospect of success. Because if you don't believe that you're going to be successful, why do it? You know, it's gonna be really hard to do it. I think every screenwriter has to really believe that, you know, I can be successful and I can do this. And by the way, you know, we're I think screenwriters, we're pretty average group of people, you know, we're not, I don't think we're a group of geniuses. I've met a lot of writers in my life. They're, they're, you know, they have, so they share certain qualities, but they work hard at it. And you know, if you work hard at it, I think you can probably you can probably do it, at least learn to do it at a level that if you're dedicated enough, and you have some modicum of talent, you can do it successfully as a career. But if you don't think about the result, if you don't think get inspired by like what could happen, I think it's going to be hard to finish your your work for the day, the only thing I would say is, you should be excited, not just by the prospect of your own success in your career, but you should be inspired by what the particular project you're working on convey. Because there are going to be days that are going to be very difficult, you're going to be dragging, you're going to be facing a problem, you're not sure how to resolve it. And if you're not excited about the overarching idea that you're working on, and about the prospect of delivering the screenplay of that idea and seeing that movie on screen, even if it's on your phone, it's gonna be hard to get through the difficult days. It's a little bit like marriage. You know, something is Other than others
Alex Ferrari 40:00
To che, Sir,
David Weissman 40:01
It's great every day.
Alex Ferrari 40:03
Yes, mine too. I don't know what you're talking about. If you're listening? Well, it's very similar to what Steven Pressfield said, which is like you just show up every day, you just let them use know that I'm going to be at this desk every day between 830 and 430. That's if you decide to show up, this is where I'll be. But every day I'm going to show up. And that's the only way you just got to keep keep cranking.
David Diamond 40:27
It's yeah, totally true.
Alex Ferrari 40:29
Now, what is the anatomy of or actually in a better yet? How can you write or build a bulletproof character? In your opinion?
David Diamond 40:40
So writing a bulletproof character, is you have to answer certain essential questions about that character. So you're starting with a character that has something that they want, and something that they need. And the evolution of that character is really about them, figuring out the what they need, starting from what they want, pursuing what they want, overcoming obstacles, and coming out the other side, having achieved something that they never really knew that they needed. But that's the journey that that's the journey that you're watching. And the way we build those characters is what we do, and we write about this in the book is, we create a chart, we list every single character, and where they are in the beginning of the movie, what their goal is in the beginning of the movie, and we track them through the entire movie, looking at the everything that happens from the perspective of every single character. And that helps us create not just characters that grow over time, but scenes that are much more dynamic. Because you have characters with different perspectives, points of view, you're coming at each other. And you see in, you know, in a script. Pretty much everybody who writes a script can can sort of tell the story from their main character's point of view, because it's, it's what inspired you to write it. And it's really, it's really the main story you're telling, what we like to do is do it for every character. Look at the movie, from the perspective of every character who's a major character in the in the script. And what that allows us to do is, you know, often tell 5678 individual stories, and I think it definitely will help you in terms of sort of figuring out not just how this movie is about your main character, but how it's about sort of these ancillary characters as well.
Alex Ferrari 42:49
Now, can you talk a little bit about subtext because I think something that's something that's so missing from so many screenplays in today's world, my screenplays included, that it's very, on the nose, very on the nose kind of stuff. And like, I don't like you, I don't like you either. And that's kind of it as opposed to doing it with a look or, you know, many other different techniques. Can you talk a little bit about subtext in your characters? Or in your, in your stories in general?
David Weissman 43:16
Yeah. We don't write with subtext because that's extra. We. It's funny, because we've been mostly comedy writers for our career. And I think that humor is often subtext. You know, you can't, when a character says something funny, or does something funny, when there's something funny that happens in your screenplay, it can't just be two characters saying what's on the surface, saying what's on their mind, it has to be sort of a clash, I think of a deeply held views. And subtext is, is incredibly important, because your characters are talking and doing things in a movie, but they're often not not saying what they really think. And they're often not doing what they really want to do. So, you know, tone is so important. And all the things sort of behind the writing are incredibly important. And we probably, I think, you know, this is something that when you're on your 10th draft, as we often are, this is when you really start discovering subtext. And where we're layering, layering those things into your screenplay starts happening. And it's, it's like what you say, you know, if you're just handing in your first draft, you're not going to have the subtext unless you're some crazy genius. It's gonna take a while to figure that out and find that. Also, a lot of subtext is about this distinction between what a character wants and what a character needs.
Alex Ferrari 44:59
We'll be right back After a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
David Diamond 45:09
So, you know, if your character's goal is, for example, we were talking about family man earlier, this character, what he wanted was just to get back to his old life, to physically return to New York and live in his apartment and have his job. That's what that character wanted. But that's not what that character needed. And so for a lot of the time in that movie is he's talking with his wife in New Jersey, played by Taylor Leone, he's having conversations where he's still very much focused in the conversation and the dialogue, on wanting to get back to the life that he had before. But this is not what that character needed. And ultimately, the subtext becomes text, where in the third act of the movie, the character starts speaking very directly to what they need. And that's, that's when
Alex Ferrari 46:01
The magic magic magic happens. Well, if I if I, if I might have an example of a little bit of subtext in family man, where he goes shopping, and he gets that suit, when he's trying on that suit, sure. And then when she's like, we can't afford that. And all of a sudden, it becomes so much more than about the suit. Obviously, there's so many more deeper feelings in it. This comes out in the argument what it really is about, but originally, it was just like, I'm gonna buy the suit. Like you can't buy the suit. Like it's not about suit. It was that a good example.
David Diamond 46:32
That's a great example. That, again, that movie is all about priorities and how you prioritize personal relationships, family, and career aspirations and ambition. And that's what the suit scene is about. He wants his $2,000 suit. He feels like a better man. But he's but is he a better man?
Alex Ferrari 46:52
It is. So it's such a ridiculous cut when he says that I feel like cringing when he says like, I feel like a better man wearing this. Like that says so much about his character and where he is in his life at that moment in time. Like, I'm like, if I'm wearing this I feel like a better man. Like that's,
David Diamond 47:10
Yeah, I have to say when you put on a $2,000 suit
Alex Ferrari 47:13
I had Yes. You I don't know if I feel like a better man. But you feel something.
David Diamond 47:18
Something. There's something in that fabric or something that scene was a father and the truth of being a father is you never get that suit.
Alex Ferrari 47:28
No, you're right.
David Weissman 47:30
I mean, it's like you're sort of always giving up on the suit. Looks I think it was it was sort of you know anticipated what it's gonna be like for us
Alex Ferrari 47:39
Well, like like I always say if you look behind me I have a life size Yoda Yes. Sitting in my in my office. I bought that when I was single before I met my wife. Can you imagine the conversation right now? Of me walking to my wife and going baby I think I think I need a life size Yoda and I know the kids have summer camp coming up but I but I need a life size Yoda it's an incredible value. It's an it's gonna only appreciate in time it's an investment really? Like can you imagine having these conversations anytime I meet single guys I'm like dude, by any crazy thing you want. Time to do that life size, hope that you've been wanting to cost $6,000 on eBay. Buy it now because that will not have that will not have happened. That never happened. Never never happened. It was the OTA the other one I bought it was like 300 400 bucks at the time. It has probably sell it for 1000s Now, it's probably now in the range of 800 to 1000. I check every like three or four years. I'll check eBay just to see where it's at. 1000 bucks now probably it's from 1999 It was from The Phantom Menace release. It was one that was in blockbusters and they only had like, in all the blockbusters it was like a giveaway of blockbusters. I bought it and now it's part of the family I'll never get rid of it. You know my girls were raised with Uncle Yoda I mean it's part of the thing but the point is that is my suit like I can have if you look behind me there's like statues of like the Hulk and Wolverine and stuff. They all cost like three or $400 apiece again before children came right I was married but before children that were the case it's it's yeah it's yeah before BC Yes Before children. I can that I can't have that come I can't go to Comic Con anymore and go babe i I'm gonna spend 600 bucks at Comic Con. I'm gonna do that. That conversation won't happen. So we have skewed off the topic but this is a lesson for everybody listening. Any young writers listening by crazy stuff
David Diamond 49:30
Buy now you're now saying from this podcast? Take that we had it just eBay is now $20,000 richer because of us.
Alex Ferrari 49:42
So much buying a life size calc so to speak. By the way I do want that lifestyle hope but I don't even know where I could put it because it's so tip.
David Weissman 49:51
I see right behind you. You could put it in that chair next to the Yoda and it's perfect.
Alex Ferrari 49:55
It's like eight feet tall literally won't Oh It will literally won't fit in my room. Yeah, but I'm letting go of that a little bit. I'm letting It's okay. It's okay. Um, now one other question I have for you guys is, what can screenwriters do to make their their scripts stand out or them to stand out of the crowd? Because even when you guys were starting in the 90s, it's a lot different worlds, even when you got family man made than it is today. I mean, arguably, family man probably wouldn't get made today in the studio system, because that's not the movies that they're making now.
David Weissman 50:26
Yeah, yeah, family that would be hard to get made today. And many of the scripts that we've sold, and I, you know, I listen. It's, there's no question about it, there's an arms race in screenwriting, right? In terms of shocking people or creating, you know, crazy set pieces, or, or all these things. I mean, I really feel like if you want your script to stand out, make the reader feel something that's always, always some, it's something that never goes out of fashion, and something that people will always respond to. And it's has nothing to do with the arms race of shock value, or things that are that are kind of crazy. If you make somebody feel something, it's undeniable. And listen, it might not, you might not sell your script for a million dollars, but it will get the attention of the people reading it. And it'll lead to good things. I agree. 100%. I mean, the truth is, you may still not sell your script. But you will really earn a lot of fans, people will talk about you, they'll share your script with other people ultimately, that's what you want. You know, what happens out here is people read stuff, and for them to take it to their boss, you know, you put your you put your
Alex Ferrari 51:52
It's risk, it's a risk. What's that? It's a risk on their part. Yes.
David Diamond 51:56
Right. So if you're going to ask somebody else to read something, you have to at least be able to say this really moved me I thought this was really wonderful. And, and no one will ever resent you for making them read something that that moves them, you know, even if ultimately they're not going to buy it, they may say it doesn't fit in here. This is not our brand, they may say that. But if they're moved, they'll never regret having read it. And they may hire you to write something else. And it doesn't matter what genre you're writing in. It's a horror movie. It's an action movie, it's a comedy, whatever it is, make the reader feel something but want to be moved, they want to be impacted. And the other thing that I would say is write something, find your twist on whatever genre you're writing in, you know, if what you deliver is a script that people feel they've read 100 times before and offers nothing new. It's hard to be inspired by that. But if you can, if you can do something in a way that's a little bit different that has your own unique spin on it. That's very helpful.
Alex Ferrari 53:12
I mean, it's talking about being moved. I mean, arguably and everyone listening will now turn off because I'm going to talk about my favorite movie of all time. But it there's a reason why it Shawshank Redemption, is one of those films that arguably anybody that I speak to says, well, that's just great. And if they don't like it, they're dead inside. And I can't speak to you. That's just obviously I mean, do you I'm assuming you guys are fans. If not, we could just end the conversation now. Yeah.
David Diamond 53:37
I actually showed it to my kids not that long ago to my son's and now it's one of their top movies. And these are kids who are growing up in the Marvel era,
Alex Ferrari 53:47
Right. And that's the thing that because I saw it when I was just out of high school, it was like 94 When that got released. I'm like that, that year, a great year for movies that you hear. And, and I remember that like my friends who were in high school who like thought John Claude Van Damme was the greatest actor of all time. They said that they got that was a really good movie, it had penetrated all of the ignorance and the just the non nuances of being that young, like you did with your sons, probably who like growing up in the Marvel times, and said, Wow, that really hit me. And I've studied that movie. And I've studied that scripts so much. And I always ask any screenwriters I have on the show, like, what is it like what like, because it's the worst name in history. It's the worst pitch in history. Like there's nothing like have any sort of value in the way that they present the idea. But yet it cuts through everything and now is considered you know, if not the best, according to IMDb, one of the best films of all time, but yet, there's no reason it should be, you know, so I always ask screenwriters who are fans? What do you think the reasoning is behind that film?
David Diamond 54:52
I think it taps into a our desire to To believe in the good things in life and hope and friendship. I mean, those are the two things that survive in that movie. And and that's, that's what prevails in that movie hope and friendship, Hope, Faith friendship. If those things are important to you or resonate with you, then it's hard not to be a fan of Shawshank Redemption.
Alex Ferrari 55:30
Yeah, without question. That's what like, like I said, if he's like you just said, if you're a fan of hope and friendship, you're gonna like it. So if you don't like you're obviously not a friend. You obviously don't like hope or friendship and you're, you're dead inside.
David Diamond 55:42
Why do people like Springsteen
Alex Ferrari 55:45
Like you to do? I mean, what Springsteen I love Springsteen, how can you not love Springsteen? Come on? Yeah, I agree. But I'm from, I'm from a different generation. So are you guys but I know the boss. And I remember him, and I still remember his stuff. But he's one of how do you not like the Beatles? Like how can you not, you know, look at the Beatles and go. Again, skewed off course. But we're now back. And one last question, I want to ask you, rewrites so important in this process. And we've kind of touched upon it any tips on rewrites and how to do that chiseling, because we originally start with a really big piece of marble and like Michelangelo says, he just chisel away and reveal the David. But that is a painstaking thing. Anything, any advice? Any tips you can give us?
David Weissman 56:33
Yeah, I think by the time you get to, you know, it is sort of, like you say, it's like chipping away and revealing a statue, you know, by the time you write your 105 pages, or whatever it is, you should at least be able to see the blueprint of the movie that you're hoping to make. And you should be able to achieve some clarity. And so you have to ask yourself, you know, if to go back to the beginning, and articulate the idea that's driving your movie, who is your character? Have I gotten the most out of the concept for this movie? Have I introduced the best possible obstacles? And you need to make sure that the draft that you produce responds, response to those questions? Is this the funniest movie I can write? Is this the scariest movie that I can write? It's just about sharpening, sharpening, sharpening, and it's also about giving your script and when you're ready to, to people, you very you trust very much people who are close to you, and getting feedback from them. And really trying to discern from the feedback that you get, have I can effectively communicated the idea that I'm trying to communicate, are people getting this? And if they're not getting it, why are they not getting it? And what do I need to change? And if they are getting it, and they have suggestions? Are they good suggestions? You know, are they should I do what they're saying in the way that they suggest it? Or have they identified a problem that I'm not going to address in the way they say I should, but I pay attention to the fact that they found a problem that's real. And I have to find another way to address that problem. That's it, that's a big thing is not is looking at the notes that you get as indications of an issue or a problem, but not necessarily a solution. The solution usually comes from within the writer. And at least that's what we found is that, you know, you're the expert on on your own screenplay. But that doesn't mean if somebody has an issue with something that you've written that they're wrong. And you know, what's hard about rewriting is that you grow very attached to the things that you love. And there may be things that you've written that you love, but that doesn't mean they belong in the script. You know, the idea is the only thing sacred in a script is the idea. And the movie is something that you have to find. And you have to often let things go along the way that are really, really valuable things. But if they don't serve the story and the way that they need to serve the story, it's a mistake to have it to have it be in a screenplay. screenplays have to be very efficient. You know, we people aren't reading novels, when they're reading screenplays, they're reading a schematic for a movie, they're reading something that has to really hold together like a movie, you're not going to get the same patience, and you're not going to get the same consideration that you might get for when you're reading a novel. So you have to be efficient. And you know, that means doing everything you can to service the idea and often, you know, that's why rewriting is so hard because you've already put the work in you know, you're you don't want to throw good money after bad or as they say, so I think you have to be prepared to let some stuff go It's kind of, I think, you know, the Prime Directive, when you're, you know, when you finished your script and you're giving it to someone to read, it's don't lose the reader. That's really job number one is don't lose the reader, you have to recognize that anyone who's reading your script has 50 other scripts that they have to read. So any excuse that you give them to be able to put your script aside and pick up one of the other ones they're going to take. So you can't lose the reader. And if anyone tells you, you know, your your girlfriend, or your boyfriend or your child tells you, I read it, but I, you know, on page seven, I lost interest because of x, you should pay very close attention. Because maybe not your child, maybe not your child. But yeah, you don't want to lose the reader and anything that can help you to retain the interest of your reader from page one to page 105 is worth very, very serious consideration.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:04
As Stephen King says, Kill your darlings.
David Diamond 1:01:06
Kill Your Darlings,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:07
Kill your darlings. Now you and you guys, when you guys write, you write more than one script at a time, or you just stay focused on one script at a time.
David Weissman 1:01:13
Well, we often are writing two things at a time, because of the particular way that we work, we figure out our ideas together in great detail. But we do most of our writing separately until the very end of the process when we sit side by side at the computer. So for that time, when we're writing, we can each be writing. So we try to be working on two things at a time typically.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:41
So are you kind of like the Elton John model of like, you guys both go off and write your own thing and then come together and see if it works, and then kind of work it that way. Well, we're not writing our own thing, we're within the idea with the idea within the idea you're not writing anything.
David Weissman 1:01:54
Well, we outline together. And so that process is also so by the by the time we're ready to write, we were writing off a pretty detailed outline that includes a lot of character and scene work in the outline. So but yes, that we only actually will write together the computer at the very end. So there is you know, it gives us I think it keeps things exciting and interesting for us. It allows us to sort of express our individual voices. And it also allowed us throughout our career, to be able to take on a wider variety of projects, because we each have strengths. And so there are certain things that we could do because it played to one or the other strength. So yeah, it's been helpful to us, it's allowed us to work more efficiently as well.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:52
Now I'm going to ask you a few questions I asked all of my guests about what advice would you give a screenwriter wanting to break into the business today?
David Weissman 1:03:02
Well, one thing that I would say and I would say to be very, very careful about is, don't it's going to be very hard to resist this temptation. But do not send your script to somebody in a position to help you until that script is ready, and you are 1,000% sure it's ready. These opportunities are so rare. They're so precious. It's the most precious thing you have. And so I know, I know that people coming up today have contests and they have, they have different mechanisms that maybe we didn't have. But there is nothing as precious as the opportunity to impress somebody in a position to help you. Please don't do it until your screenplay is ready. That is those really are the most precious things you'll you'll ever get those opportunities and picking up on something that you said earlier, Alex, don't just write one screenplay. You know, I mean, don't don't come out here thinking that I have an idea for a movie. I'm gonna write the screenplay. And when I am done, my phone's gonna be ringing off the hook. And I'm going to have opportunities galore,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:19
One year tops, one year tops one year.
David Diamond 1:04:22
This is this is you know, understand that this is unlikely to happen. And be okay with it. And take your time and write as many screenplays as you need to write until you arrive at the one that is actually going to do for you what you're hoping it will do for you. And as we say in the book, you know, keep going as long as you're not doing harm to yourself or others and as long as you continue to have a desire to do it. You know, when we were when we were just starting out a friend called and said I want to do this how long should I Give it well, if you're asking how long I should give it and you know you're over, it's over before you started, you can't be asking that that question, you have to really want to do it. And you just have to keep going until you achieve your goal or until you just don't have the desire anymore.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:18
It's the five to 10 year plan, not the 12 to 18 month plan.
David Weissman 1:05:22
That's correct. I think that's that's a reasonable amount of time to think it might take.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:28
Now, can you tell me the book that had the biggest impact on your life or career?
David Weissman 1:05:35
Well, for sure, for us, it's adventures in the screen trade by wood comes up often? Well, because it's so rare that you read something that is both a guide to doing something and an expression of the greatest way that it can be done. And you know, what, what William Goldman did in that book is he really gave you a flavor for what it's like to be in this business and, and, and how crazy it is and how joyful it is. And at the same time, I think you know, told you how to do it, if you if you read it in the right way. And I think we learned from that book, probably more than anything else. At least that's the one for me. What about anything else that we have the most influential, I would say the Bible written?
Alex Ferrari 1:06:28
Is that the first part or second part?
David Weissman 1:06:32
That's the thing. You know, you know what? Ironically, we there's great stories in the Bible, and there's been many movies. Yes. Talk about creating a world I it's true.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:48
Talk about world creations. I mean, jeez, the antagonist alone in that, in that book. Anyway, um, what lesson took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life? Oh, man, these are my Oprah questions, I apologize ahead of time. If you were a tree, what kind of
David Weissman 1:07:08
If i were a fruit I would be a peach, um, you know, to me, the the lesson that I'm that sort of resonates with me the most is that you really do have to try to enjoy the process as you go along. And you know, it's the victories aren't always going to come, they really sometimes they come sometimes they don't come. We've had the great good fortune to be writing partners for many, many years. And best friends for even longer. We enjoy every day that we get together and do this. It's a blessing. It's something that, you know, has has, has taken me through the good times and the bad times. And so the lesson is, enjoy it, love it, love the doing of it, the results, you know, they may come or they may not they may not come but you haven't wasted your time if you've loved the process. Yeah, and I would say along similar lines. The most valuable lesson that I have learned from this is don't define yourself, by your circumstances. You know, all of us go through struggles, whether you know, we're not yet professional screenwriters, while we're proficient professional screenwriters, there are struggles every day. You know, screenwriter is what we do, it's not who we are. So you have to see yourself as a whole person with a job to do take the work seriously. But don't take yourself too seriously. And, and recognize the difference between what you do and who you are. It can be very, very depressing, when the work is hard or when it's not coming to you. If that's if your entire identity is wrapped up in what you're doing. But if you know who you are, and you have other aspects of your life that are meaningful to you, then that will probably be reflected in your work, it will probably only enhance
Alex Ferrari 1:09:24
Was there was there an obstacle or fear that each of you had to overcome in order to succeed in this in this business? Because there is so much fear and imposter syndrome and all these kind of things that we kind of, you know, we are the worst enemy. We have our own mindsets, our worst enemy. Was there anything for you early on, or even later? And maybe during the process of being a professional that you had to kind of overcome to keep going?
David Weissman 1:09:50
No, I think for me, I probably was afraid of not being successful at this, but at a certain point there was a sort of creative survival instinct that kicked in, where the desire to be good at it and to actually understand it overcame the desire just to be successful at it. And so the lessons of screenwriting started to penetrate in such a way that we were able to become successful, even though the driving the driving force wasn't the ambition, the driving force was doing it. Right. That was, you know, how do we do this? Right. That was the question that we were that we were asking and and how do you do it? Right. It's a more important question than how do you succeed because ultimately, you succeed by doing it right.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:50
Would you agree, David? I wasn't listening to what he said. So. Yes. And now the toughest question of all three of your favorite films of all time.
David Weissman 1:11:03
Oh, geez. We should be ready for that one, right. As of right neighbor joint film like that we both love so much is probably Tootsie
Alex Ferrari 1:11:15
Yes. comes up. Yeah.
David Weissman 1:11:18
I would I you know, for me, probably because I'm gonna limit it to comedies. Sure, because I think I can't choose three. So probably Ghostbusters and stepbrothers for me.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:32
A new one. Yeah. newer one. That's a great film.
David Diamond 1:11:35
Stepbrothers never disappoints. It's so good and and stripes for sure. I'd throw diner in there as like a herd of Ark growing up and and the graduate and also you know, I have as a nod to the brief film school education I had the bicycle thief if you don't cry it that one.
David Weissman 1:12:04
All the President's Men and and the Godfather Part Two. Now you
Alex Ferrari 1:12:09
Now it's just not getting out of hand. It's getting out of hand. Guys.
David Weissman 1:12:13
What are your three favorite?
Alex Ferrari 1:12:15
It would be Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club. Oh, wow. Okay, and the matrix. Wow. Yeah, those are three that always kind of stay in the top five, it will kind of vary, and there's many other ones I have. But those three that always kind of like, that's a good round of kind of where my sensibilities lie. Is comedies go? I think Ghostbusters airplane. I mean, I can't. I mean, how can you not watch airplane and just piss yourself all Blazing Saddles. I mean, yeah. How can you not
David Weissman 1:12:48
Like now I want to put all those on my list
Alex Ferrari 1:12:50
Spaceballs. I mean, how can you not watch it? And if you're a star, a Star Wars fan? Like how can you not enjoy Spaceballs? I mean, come on impossible question. That's why I said it's the toughest question of all of them. Yeah. Now where can people find out more about the book, where they can buy and where they can find more about your work.
David Diamond 1:13:06
The book you can buy at this point pretty much anywhere it comes out on May 1, you can pre order it on Amazon, I'm sure by the time this airs, you can just get it on Amazon also on mwp.com. Shares Michael Wheezy publications and you can get it from their website. You can get it in brick and mortar stores, Barnes and Noble.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:27
Bookstores are well defined books are sold, where we're
David Diamond 1:13:31
Here and abroad. And you can visit us also online at bulletproofscript.com. And you can order the book through there as well. And yeah,
David Weissman 1:13:42
Or come to our houses.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:45
Our address are
David Weissman 1:13:48
And you can just leave some money, right, slip it under the door, and I will hand it
Alex Ferrari 1:13:55
Slipped through the mail slot. I appreciate you guys, it has been an absolute joy talking to you today. Thank you so much for dropping some amazing knowledge bombs on the tribe today. I truly, truly appreciate all your wisdom, your laughter and your information today. So thank you so much.
David Diamond 1:14:11
It's been a pleasure. Thank you.
David Weissman 1:14:13
Alex Ferrari 1:14:15
I want to thank the David's for being on the show and dropping awesome knowledge bombs on the tribe today. Thank you so much, guys, if you want a copy of their book, just head over to the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/bps048. And I'll have a link to the book and anything else we talked about in this episode. Now if you haven't already, please head over to screenwritingpodcast.com And leave a good review for the show. It really helps us out a lot and I just want to get this information out to as many screenwriters as humanly possible. So thank you again so much for listening guys. And that is the end of another episode of The Bulletproof screenwriting podcast as always, keep on writing no matter what. I'll talk to you soon.
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