BPS 003: Making It in Hollyweird as a Screenwriter with Doug Richardson

Can you imagine having a front-row seat to the start of the filmmaking careers of Will Smith, Bruce Willis, and Michael Bay? Well, this week’s guest Screenwriter Doug Richardson did just that. In 1989 20th Century Fox hired Doug to adapt Walter Wager’s novel 58 Minutes into the first sequel to the hit franchise Die Hard. In 1990, it was released as Die Hard 2, Die Harder.

Around the same period, Doug Richardson and his one-time writing partner, Rick Jaffa, garnered national attention when their spec screenplay, Hellbent…and Back was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash Bad Boys (1995), Money Train (1995), and Hostage (2005).

In addition to writing for the screen and print, Doug posts a weekly blog on his website, dougrichardson.com, where he shares personal anecdotes and insight from his thirty-year showbiz career. The first collection of his blogs, The Smoking Gun: True Tales from Hollywood’s Screenwriting Trenches was published in 2015.

I had a ball chatting with Doug and his stories from the set had been mesmerized. He dropped some major knowledge bombs in this interview. Enjoy!

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Alex Ferrari 0:00
I like to welcome to the show, Doug Richardson. Man, thank you so much for taking the time, but I appreciate it. Hi. Very welcome. So let's get into it. Man, how did you become a screenwriter, like what made you want to jump into this crazy business?

Doug Richardson 3:37
Well, I wanted to be a filmmaker, you know, wanted to be a film director. In fact, like so many kids with movie cameras, and we used to go, you know, sneak away and skip movies at the mall. And from theater to theater, you know, just your, you know, kind of a 1970s movie geek. And then, you know, once a film school, because you know, that's kind of a natural progression. Saw that I kind of liked that movies were written. And a lot of the directors I really admired or guys who had written movies before. So I thought I would write my way into the business after I got out of school. And I did. In doing so I kind of became a screenwriter instead of a film director.

Alex Ferrari 4:24
Gotcha. And you went to USC, correct?

Doug Richardson 4:26
I did. How was how was that back then? Back then when we're in the Quonset huts? Yes. Before George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and everybody built them a mini Warner Brothers.

Alex Ferrari 4:40
I actually you know what, I just spoke there. I just did a lecture at USC and I just for the first time ever, I walked around. You're absolutely right. It's like a mini Warner

Doug Richardson 4:48
Brothers that that was what it was supposed to look like. It was supposed to look like the you know, though the Warner studio it's supposed to leave the interiors and all the all the architecture and stuff was built look like yeah, you know Warner's except, except it's in better shape.

Alex Ferrari 5:04
Oh, it's brand new. It's like, years old.

Doug Richardson 5:07
We were in little we were in World War Two Quonset huts. On another part of campus, it was just this little tiny quad of Quonset huts.

Alex Ferrari 5:17
So it wasn't it, it was it was it was Walmart back then. Back then.

Doug Richardson 5:20
It was always an extraordinarily respected, it was smaller, though. Okay. As in there were fewer students that could there was there were only 20 students per year of cheeses. And in both the grad programs, and the, and the undergrad programs are only 20 Each, it was tiny. So it was more competitive in some regards. And, and you know, by the time you finish there, were only like 15 Each, because people would have dropped or dropped out and moved on. So it was a it was it was it was very interesting, and probably very different.

Alex Ferrari 5:55
Wow, man. Wow. And were you there around the time that Jordan and I was,

Doug Richardson 6:00
I was there after Stephen was not I never went That's right. Long Beach. Uh, I was there, you know, after. Um, so he came and spoke and showed us, you know, he came in talk to us and gave like, some of the best advice you could ever get, which was, you know, film school will not teach you anything about filmmaking. But it is no, it is right. It will provide you a great, you know, laboratory in which to teach yourself. And that was very, very true, because there's some people who got through my program, and I swear, when they got finished, did not know where to put a camera. You know, even in the most basic setups and stuff. So versus, you know, a lot of us, you know, got our start there and moved on and had a pretty interesting class or some, you know, Ken aquaticus was not in my undergrad class, but the undergrad to the grad students went along in tandem. So, and there were the one of the programs, a lot of the classes were the same. So you were mixed in with the grad students. And so yeah, so guys like Ken coppice and Steven Blum. And all those guys have done some work since then, kind of one thing's us. You know, Andy Davis, the producer, Andy Davis, not the director, Andy Davis. And some others, Andy Davis,

Alex Ferrari 7:20
is, it's the same guy. I'm thinking, is it the guy did the fugitive?

Doug Richardson 7:24
No, that's the director Andy Davis. Okay. Okay. Here's the Andrew Davis, the producer who's just produced a lot of in a real go to Line guy out there. He works and works and works. Awesome. Awesome.

Alex Ferrari 7:35
So when you when you write a screenplay, like what's your process, and I know, every screenplay, screenwriter has a, a unique process, what's yours?

Doug Richardson 7:44
I don't know, minds, that unique. I mean, my process is do whatever I need to do, to serve the project. You know, so there's no wheel, I put everything on cards, I outline I, you know, I, you know, I go into a park and, and write on a bench the way Ron bass used to, or whatever, or sit in restaurants and listen to dialogue, I would just sort of, um, you know, if I felt a movie really wired, you know, if it was an action movie, for example, I, you know, like diehard, for example, that I felt was a, you know, kind of a bit of an action opera. That's something I felt like needed to be put on cards. Versus if it's something that's more of a thriller, that's, that's kind of need to be felt. Or if it's something that just there was a lot of, you know, drama that, you know, a lot of that is just research. And then sometimes the outline can be something on paper, sometimes it can be just notions on paper slightly organized, until eventually I get down to sitting down and writing and then the process is then probably very normal, I get that. I write it. I, by the time I get done with the first draft, there's a ton of stuff I already want to rewrite, I rewrite it and rewrite it until it's ready to kind of hand out and give to people to read. Do

Alex Ferrari 9:05
you have do you? Are you one of those writers that kind of like gets the idea and starts beating it up in your head first? Or do you do use the cards and you use the outlines to kind of beat it up because I like when I write I always, like I always beat it up in my head for probably a week or two before I even put anything to paper.

Doug Richardson 9:22
I have stuff in my head all the time. I have things that get that form, I'm sure isn't your writer, you understand this? Some things formed very quickly. And you can get them on paper. And some things like I said, are still in my head that I think are really great notions but have never haven't yet formed into something that I'm either going to write a screenplay or as I do now, which is I write more books and screenplays, but you know, is it you know, it's it's, there are notions in there that I say there's that there's a movie there somewhere. It just hasn't come yet. It hasn't Come together yet so, but still, yeah, it's comes it has to come together in my head before I start, you know, to put it down on paper because then it's, you know, I don't know, when I start to put stuff down on paper, I have no idea what I mean, almost everything I put down, I've kind of run through my head.

Alex Ferrari 10:18
Now, are you when obviously you're working screenwriter and you've had you've done many, many movies over the course of your career? When when what is the process of you actually getting a writing assignment? Like how does that work so the audience can understand a bit of how it works in the studio system, like your agent gets a call? Yeah,

Doug Richardson 10:38
there's the well, there's the old days, and there's nowadays, which is very, very different than the last 30 years. Things have changed. And then there's also there's cycles to, you know, whether they want, they're buying specs, or they're buying pitches, or, and what kind of pitches are buying and, and they want you to come in with a hole nowadays, they want you to come in with a hole, you know, sometimes with almost the marketing campaign, because they, you know, versus I remember, I this wasn't my pitch, but back a long time ago, Dale lahner walked in, and the pitch was, she's blonde, she's beautiful, just don't get her drunk. And that was that was it. That was a green light, a blind day. Oh, my man, they made that movie. But that was the pitch, at least, that movie that was the myth of the pitch, at least,

Alex Ferrari 11:31
at least, the myth of the great movie back in the day. And I used

Doug Richardson 11:35
to have, you know, back in the days, when they were would, there was more development. And they would, they were more interested in buying an idea with a writer and it didn't quite need to be as formed. And they would actually be part of the forming of it process. You could go in and I did go in sometimes I would only go in with a first actor, I would go on with just, you know, character and a couple of characters in a situation. And they would say, Yeah, that's cool. Let's try it. And, you know, deal would be made or you know, and you go start the research or whatever, and you'd eventually write the movie, but a deal will be made now. They kind of almost again want the story to be fully baked. They want 3x And they want like I said practically a marketing campaign. Whether it's something back to your question, whether it's uh, you know, the my agent calls me and says DreamWorks is looking for a haunted house movie. You know, and didn't you have one? And when you go into DreamWorks, you know, DreamWorks wants more than just, hey, I have this idea for a haunted house movie. Fever, hey, you know, the executives want to, you know, unless you're pitching the guy who can say yes, or the woman who can say yes, who's the boss. And generally, you're not at that point, you're pitching something that you need to they need to be able to take upstairs to their, to their boss, to the guy who says yes, or take to their big meeting and to the group and see if they can say yes, and be competitive with it. You know, sometimes they want more ammo than just the story you want to tell them? You know, this is I mean, now it's like they want you know, what's the demographic? Now, right? Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 13:23
you're right, you're absolutely right. They want like they want on stats, they want reports,

Doug Richardson 13:28
or marketing scheme. How we see, you know, do we have a do? Can we imagine a slot for this, you know, which is again, very different than 20 years ago, when they just made stuff that they really liked. And only they developed stuff that really liked it only after they developed it to a place that they really, really loved it? Would they then say, Okay, now, you know, how do we approach? How much do we spend on it? Route? How would you know? And then the marketing guys would come in? And how would we market it? And how would we write there are a lot of screens that we can open on just a couple of markets, you know, so that's now it's just, it's it's very pre packaged, and pre digested and pre marketed.

Alex Ferrari 14:18
So it's before you might have had if you're not at the end business, sorry. And, of course, of course, the end business is a little bit different. But like, Do you think that's kind of the whole corporatization of like the McDonald's thing of Yeah, no, that's

Doug Richardson 14:33
when were the were the corporations but Hollywood there was a lot of different there's a lot of talk for a long time about how how it was going to spin out you know, and people had different ideas you know, where movies gonna be and then we you know, there's a whole DVD part of the business Yeah, with the and videotape part of the business where, you know, you're you you begin like a product and you're fighting for, you know, square feet of shelf space, you know, or lint or linear feet of shelf space at Blockbuster, or Walmart or some, um, no one really knew that it would sort of end up going more, where the marketing guys moved way deep into the creative side to where movies were actually made more to fit a marketing scheme than they were to fit something that an audience is gonna love. Right there. They're kind of almost reverse engineered. This is a marketing scheme that we know we can sell. We've been very successful with this kind of marketing scheme. What can we find that fits that model?

Alex Ferrari 15:49
I think one of the movies of recent year of this year actually that kind of broke what you're talking about, and it was a huge monsters hit to the surprise of the studio was Deadpool. They kind of snuck it in. And then the marketing guys be this brilliant marketing campaign. But that was one of those films that I think just kind of

Doug Richardson 16:08
it was a risky film for them. And it was and it was an anomaly for them. Yeah, it wasn't an anomaly. I think they knew they had some they liked, and they knew they're going to have to sell it differently. They clearly had a ball with it. Yes. They certainly had a ball with it. And and then then then on top of it, the movie deliver. And you've got this massive breakout hit. Now, is that now a new marketing scheme, that they're going to try and fit again, for something other than Deadpool?

Alex Ferrari 16:40
What? Well, Wolverine is going to be an R rated the next Wolverine will be the R rated R but

Doug Richardson 16:44
right are they going to do I mean, people thought Warner's was going to do that with Suicide Squad, you know, that they were really gonna, you know, aim for, you know, but I think they were Warner Brothers was really deep into Suicide Squad for Deadpool came out. So perhaps they didn't do that. I think, you know, audiences may have been hoping for something with more of an edge. But did that create a new a new marketing scheme? Or is, you know, or is that you know, is sometimes they see that, and they just write them off as anomalies. Right?

Alex Ferrari 17:17
Of course. Yeah. I mean, yeah, I completely agree. I but I do think Well, I think there there is going to be a little bit of a shift. But again, the budget to was almost $50 million, or something like that. It wasn't in the studio world. That's nothing.

Doug Richardson 17:30
Now it was in the studio superhero world world. It was an it was an experiment. Yeah. It used to be. See, it's an experiment. It that used to be Hey, this is Deadpool. This is cool. This is how much we're willing to risk on it. You guys go go make it we'll figure out how to add a marketing. Yep. Okay. That's how it used to be. Now, you know, it's looked upon as as like, you know, as a lab rat. It's so crazy and not as left cool. We should We should make it the movies from the period I grew up on. I mean, some of my favorites like Midnight Cowboy tattoo, or something

Alex Ferrari 18:09
you imagine? You will that have been a cowboy today from a studio

Doug Richardson 18:13
at the studio that made it the response was this. We love that this is amazing. We have to make it it's incredibly risky. So we're only going to we're only going to spend this we got a director, we got the script, we got the produce, whatever, you guys go make this film for a million for don't spend a penny more. Okay, go make it, don't spend a penny more or we'll kill you. You know, and then they come back with a movie. And then they say, great, we've got this, it bloomed. It's everything we thought it should be. Now, we've only risked 1,000,004 on it. Let's come up with a way to sell it. But they made it because they loved it. They didn't turn away movies that they didn't love. They saw something they love because they love movies. And they wanted to make sure some they saw as like just money franchises. And we're gonna make them because you know, they make money, but some they would read and they would say, oh my gosh, we have to be we have to make this. This has to be ours. And they would figure out how to do it now. Loving something is dangerous. Because you're not because you're not thinking your way through. It's going to be a marketing thing.

Alex Ferrari 19:24
Do you believe in this whole Hollywood implosion eventually, like the you know, all these big tent poles are just they just keep rolling the dice so much that eventually they're going to have a bomb like, you know, Batman vs. Superman

Doug Richardson 19:36
already. They're already having bombs and like masses, but they're, well, you know, they're Heaven's Gate. Now there's no because there's, they're all the parent companies can withstand the parent companies. The other corporatization is that the parent companies can withstand the bomb. That's the you know, and they've and they've, again, been able to Pre digest them and pre market them in such a way where their risk is still somewhat, you know, minimal, right? So it won't kill the studio. It may make them shift a little bit. I don't think it's going to be an implosion. I think it's going to be a slow erosion of

Alex Ferrari 20:22

Doug Richardson 20:24
Well, no, it's gonna change cinema is gonna be there's always people's going people are always gonna want to go sit in a dark theater, I think and see something really great. Yeah, it might be small. That where where it goes as far as you know, the independent world and what you're able to make it dependently and theaters, exhibitors wanting to willing to book independent films, and they're being a market for people wanting to go out. One thing they they've done is they price themselves out of they priced the regular movie goer out of the theater as a regular movie going experience. Because they've been so greedy with that. And that, that I've been really expecting for a while I think that really hit home this summer with some movies. You know, it's like, oh, what are we gonna see? We're gonna see the BFG or Finding Dory, you know, or we saw Finding Dory and Oh, kid. Sorry, you want us to be FG? I'm sorry. I already spent that $150 for that night out. Month. Yes. And we're not gonna go see in another movie for another month. So I think

Alex Ferrari 21:31
it's very true. I have I have twin daughters and everything and all went to go see Zootopia and, you know, we went to go see Finding Dory and but at a certain point you like, and they said, I think that we want to go out my wife took them to go see Secret Lives of, of dogs or pets or something. And that, you know, when like, Ice Age came out, we're like, BFG Yeah, like, I'm not gonna go. Because it's 40. It's 50 bucks. 60 bucks.

Doug Richardson 21:54
Tickets. And then there's the popcorn.

Alex Ferrari 21:57
No, I was bringing my I always bringing my pocket. Well, you're that guy. I'm that dude, dude. Absolutely. Well, your

Doug Richardson 22:02
kids are learning to be frugal. Still. 50 bucks. Yeah. But still, yeah, the cost, the cost of seeing a movie have have gone up, oh, Raizy compared to five or six bucks. High school was over six compared to the cost of living everywhere else. Right. It's it's gone. I mean, when they came, the other greedy thing that I thought was I kind of felt was going to happen as soon as they learned, they could charge a premium price for 3d, then sure, they're going to pay to have movies in 3d, and charge the premium price. But the but the 2d prices just crept up right behind them. Yep. And now

Alex Ferrari 22:45
there's don't forget the big theaters that are special theaters that have this special seating and the special sound and, and those like extra money, ultravision or whatever. It's just all, you know, all sorts of different things. And you know, well, I mean, we've gotten completely sidetracked off our conversation.

Doug Richardson 23:00
I know. But it's, it's fun. And by the way, but from a writer standpoint, these are important things to know and understand. You need to understand the business and what you you work and the people and the perspectives of the people which you're working for, you know, where else you're doomed to in some respect to failure? Well, let

Alex Ferrari 23:21
me ask you a question. Now, you know, you worked in a time where, you know, the studios are a lot different, like we were talking about, like now, you know, a lot of the earlier earlier work in your career, you know, those that was a different kind of time. I can only imagine like every year that goes by, there is a new crop of screenwriters coming into the marketplace. But yet the old crop of screenwriters are still working as well, but yet the number of studio movies are going down. Yeah, now the competition to get even try to get a studio movie made at any level, even you know, a smaller level like a Lions Gate for 20 or $30 million for certain movies, if that even exists much anymore, is getting harder and harder and harder. Because you know, you know, you've been you know, you wrote diehard to and you wrote bad boys and you know, you and you wrote a bunch of studio movies back then, well, you're not gone. You know, you're still in competition with the new 20 year old or the 25 year old screenwriter that's submitting theirs. I'm sorry, if I choose to me. Yeah, exactly if you choose to. So, um, well, let's get back to screenwriting real quick. There's two camps that I've heard of and they are the plot camp and the character camp. Do you sit on one side or do you do both or you have a foot in both?

Doug Richardson 24:41
Ah, some people might argue based upon my era of film. Those that have been made, you know, like in my written a lot more screenplays in pictures that have been made. Um, I really think I prefer a balance of both I think character drives plot. So I'm definitely character first, unless you have an agenda, and a character with an agenda that has real characters with agendas that create some sort of conflict. And you'd have no story at all. But you still have to be an architect of plot to get to kind of get there because it is a movie and you have all you got, especially it's a movie. So I mean, you've got 90 minutes to two hours and 15 minutes generally, in which you're going to have to tell the story. So you know, the screenplays they say our structure? Well, architecture is, is there's a lot of plot involved in an architecture.

Alex Ferrari 25:45
So plot would be the car and character would be the engine.

Doug Richardson 25:49
Yeah, gotcha. I guess if that's a good analogy or not, yeah, but dead sets works for me.

Alex Ferrari 25:56
So you wrote one of my favorite movies in the 90s Bad Boys. How did you get the bad boys gig and how did that come to be?

Doug Richardson 26:04
Ah, that was just one of those. You know, right place, right time kind of things were, they had, ah, Don and Jerry had a whole lot of movies Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer are coming back from their sort of lean period, and had three movies ramping up at once. Dangerous Minds, Crimson Tide and bad boys. And they had this director named Michael Bay who'd never directed anything but some videos and a cut some commercials. And they had half a script, literally half a script and they just stopped. They just stopped even though there have been many scripts for and it's been in development for like 11 or 12 years.

Alex Ferrari 26:53
Yeah, it wasn't a Danny Carvey and Jon Lovitz. Originally it

Doug Richardson 26:55
was there was well, there was a version of the movie with Michael Bay directing six months prior to my being involved. That was it was a Dana Carvey Jon Lovitz vehicle. That's and then that fell apart. And they started to mess with the script again. And they just stopped in the middle, because when they got, um, they had these two TV actors, you know, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence who had hiatuses between their shows are both gonna be on hiatus around the same time someone had the bright idea whether it was Jerry or Lucas Foster, who was that time running their company to put them all on I guess it was Lucas to sort of like, get the get, we got the director, we got this hot young shooter, and we got these two interesting guys. And Martin and Willow came on board and they said that sounds like fun. But the script it's that they had they were all forces. Yeah, you know, George Gallo had originally written a farce. Um, and that was still at the center of it and and will and Martin wanted to be interaction mode. Right. And so I got the call one afternoon, can you come in now? And I'll you know, literally at this moment, I was on my back from a little league practice. On a team, I was coaching and I, my back hurt because I just thrown about 100, fastballs and he says, Wherever you are, can you come over to Disney now, and I said, as long as you can have a bag of ice serious, that's so funny. And I sat down and they threw it at me. They said, Look, we we've got a window. We've got a director, we've got Miami, we've got a production office we're putting together we just don't have a script. Can you? Are you willing to just drop everything you're doing right now and jump in and do this. And I was actually in the middle of taking a brief break as I was writing my first novel. So I jumped in said sure. And we had a very short window of time, we had only five weeks of prep.

Alex Ferrari 29:12
Oh my god. Yeah, I heard I heard from like commentaries and interviews that that will and Martin were really just kind of throwing stuff at the wall.

Doug Richardson 29:19
It was a that was that was kind of the process. We were I you know, within days, I was in Miami. And with no with no script and, and not much supervision, which is good. No, and just mark them well who weren't there yet. And Michael, who was casting the dog parks and building sets for scenes that I hadn't yet written seriously? That and so it was it was really kind of done completely backwards, but there's a line in the movie where you know, the two guys come in, and Joey And to Liana pants Yeah, yeah yells at them say Just do what you do only faster. That was actually that was an actual line from Jerry when I asked him that first day I said, Okay, I can do it, but five weeks and blah, blah, blah, blah blah. He said looked at me says, Just do what you do only faster. That was sort of like every time I saw Jerry, I said I'm doing what I'm doing only faster.

Alex Ferrari 30:25
Nice. And how was How involved was Bay in this whole process?

Doug Richardson 30:30
A was was involved as to he wasn't involved in in the you know, of course Mr. Bay has his own now Mr. Bay is big giant Michael Bay. Yeah. So you know, the world gets rewritten. History gets has probably gotten rewritten a bit, Michael was pretty much relegated to prepping different things. Okay, and be involved in some casting. Dawn and Dawn especially, didn't want to not at one point want Michael because Don was the genius is want him budding himself into the film part. The the the the stop the film part the the the content or story part. And Don came in just like the weekend before we started shooting, and liked a lot of it and sort of got it. But Don hadn't been around at all involved in the process. So he came in just days before we started shooting and blew it up. And then we then I began putting it back together again, as a you know, from Don's perspective. And so Michael, there was the first three or four weeks of shooting it was Michael here your pages go shoot them, please don't let the actors go too far off script. You know, because when they did sometimes there was a few scenes that we one landed up on the cutting room floor, right? Because Michael let Martin and well go off the page to the point where there was no way to link it to the scene before and after. Right. So there was some times there were moments when I had to I'd there was a couple days where I would went in and I had to circle certain lines of dialogue in the morning. Just to make sure that we weren't Michael would work late the first day so much. Michael was crazy mad shooter. I mean, the guy could get incredible amounts of film. Yeah, you know, in the cans so fast. And so he worked everyone to death on the foot on on a Monday. So we were working splits already by Tuesday. Oh, Jesus. So you had time to go in that morning and say, okay, you know, sit down with Dawn and, and we'd circle lines in the scene and say, Look, dude, if you miss these lines, we're done. Because aren't there to say the lines, then we have no scene. We can't link it because that movie really is held together with with with scotch tape, the screw string and tape literally pretty much is and you know, brilliant editor, Christian Migra brilliant editor. Because I mean, he made scenes that didn't look like they were going to cut all right, um, together. And that's kind of how the film's bank it was really written like that about halfway through the process that there was almost like a script that was almost together.

Alex Ferrari 33:27
You know, the funny thing is, is while you were shooting my shooting bad boys, I was in Miami. I lived in there I Miami at the time. And I was just starting out, just starting out my film career. And I just heard about it. And it hurt bad boys too. Obviously, it was even more so. Because when they came back, they came back with a vengeance in Miami. But then

Doug Richardson 33:47
then they did blow up your street. There really wasn't that that much that we didn't have the money to blow up that much. It was that movie for only like, I think 18 $19 million. All in

Alex Ferrari 33:58
Yeah, back in the day. But I remember seeing that. I'll go into the theater and seeing that it was just so much fun and that that movie made will a star.

Doug Richardson 34:06
It did even though he was gonna be a star anyway,

Alex Ferrari 34:09
somewhere. But that was that that was the trigger that if

Doug Richardson 34:12
you'd see if you saw Well, if you'd ever sat down with them and work with them. It was sort of like, Oh, my reaction to well, after the first couple days of rehearsal and hanging out with him. It was like, Okay, this guy is a racehorse. He just doesn't quite know how to go fast yet. But very clear. racehorse

Alex Ferrari 34:35
yours like he hasn't figured that he can run really fast just yet.

Doug Richardson 34:38
He sort will. He hasn't figured out how to run really fast yet. He he could tell. I know. I'm a racehorse. I know I've got these mad skills. You know, I just not I'm working my way through them right now. And they're not very self possessed. Very confident. They're very fun, really nice guy. saved my bacon a few times. stories I can't tell on air. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 35:07
So you also did the sequel to one of the most iconic action movies of all time diehard, you know, how? How did it feel having getting that call because I mean, literally diehard is a masterpiece. The first

Doug Richardson 35:20
is it isn't it was actually still in theaters. And I'd already seen it twice when I got the call. And the reason why I got the call is because I was the baby writer with no credits. And I guess according to Larry Gordon, and Lloyd Levin, I had a thought, or a guest, that I had the skill to pull it off at least the talent. But the genius behind it, I'm just gonna give credit away again, was because the movie was still in theaters, and Leonard Goldberg was running the studio at the time, Leonard who I to this day adore, who's one of the greatest people in my career, just as a mentor. But I didn't know him then. Anyway, Leonard wasn't willing to really even start development of a sequel of the movie who didn't feel feel the movie was quite tested yet, but Larry felt they were going to need one. Also, they to you know, as you know, very well know, if they're doing a sequel. And if they're, they're announcing a sequel that they're going to start writing one. It's a feeding frenzy and all the agents and all the it gets it gets it gets it gets busy and and not very conducive to getting it done. Right. So Larry Gordon said, Okay, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm Larry Gordon. I used to run a studio. I've got swag. So I've got this book called 58 minutes that I think would might make a really good diehard and I got this writer who doesn't cost very much so I'm just going to go to the studio and tell them on I want to develop this book into a potential movie. It's not going to cost much this guy doesn't have any credit so to speak yet and that was a time when they were willing to yeah Larry go ahead it's not going to cost much so they throw you know a few bob at it and meanwhile Larry was saying to me Okay, whisper whisper they just think they're developing 58 minutes you and I know we're doing diehard to That's brilliant, because by the time we're done by the time you're done with the script, they're gonna want there too. So it was it was that was the exact that was the exact you know, talk and I was like, okay, you know what you're doing I just worked here fine personally, I'm the giraffe came in and took over and one of the first things Joe Ross said when he came in is I need diehard to and Larry said funny you should say so. And there it was. He had it. He just gave it to him right there and it was greenlit

Alex Ferrari 37:55
Wow, that's the story behind that

Doug Richardson 37:58
I delivered but the real genius was Larry Larry was the one who saw it saw the he saw all the gears you know and all the storm clouds and could read the weather and see the future and again the movie was in theater only there's only three weeks and I got the call

Alex Ferrari 38:20
because it was a huge hit right off the bat

Doug Richardson 38:22
it wasn't a huge hit right off the bat it was a surprise right off the bat movies didn't blow

Alex Ferrari 38:27
up yeah, they weren't 100 million dollar openings back then.

Doug Richardson 38:29
They didn't well and yeah I mean all in diehard only made 85 domestic I mean or so roughly it I mean it took a while to get to that number but I hit video screens and

Alex Ferrari 38:42
and video but when it hit you and cable Forget it

Doug Richardson 38:45
but but three weeks in studio wasn't willing to commit yet to a sequel when this I mean this Bruce Willis guy exactly that was that was blisters are big people like the movie but I you know, I they just want you know, but Larry said this is a frank this is gonna be big. I know.

Alex Ferrari 39:04
And you were also brought into kind of, I guess ghosts, right? Or on the live for your diehard right?

Doug Richardson 39:10
I worked? Well. No, I didn't go Strike that. There just was a lot of guys who worked on it. I've actually I'm the guy who broke Mark Bombeck script. Okay. Oh, okay. That's, that's that's that's a funny way of saying it. I did. I did a version of diehard three, that there's very little love left in that movie at one point, but there's a lot of people who work on versions of diehard three. And one point when I was in the middle of shooting hostage with Bruce Bruce came to me and dropped the script on my lap on the set and said can you read this? And it was Mark bombax diehard 4.0 Which is what it was called them and they thought that title was so clever to studio was So like, that's such a cool time,

Alex Ferrari 40:01
it's I owe kind of internet. It's I know it's so meta.

Doug Richardson 40:05
And three hours later we were having a discussion in his trailer, you know, boost didn't want to do should I shouldn't I do another diehard it was one of those things and I then I didn't want to see another diehard. I didn't want to write another diehard right? And I was kind of trying to talk him out of it. Me out of it but he then asked the question, well what kind of diehard would you want to see? So I began to riff I was gonna make another diehard this is what I would do. And the next day literally the next day was a Friday we were at Fox and I was with Bruce with Tom Rothman and Bruce was saying this is the diehard for I want to make and Tom Rothman was looking at me like you asshole you broke my diehard and after I got done breaking it and a lot of other stories that nd whether or not it was a good version of diehard or not my version and Bruce had dropped out of it again you know, right at another release date had been botched. And uh you know, eventually he wrote Bruce back in and was able to make and did what he wanted to do which is make Mark Bombeck script that's what Mark gets credit on it. I actually wrote a letter to the guild during that was a massive arbitration all these wires for jumping in trying to get credit, of course and I actually wrote wrote wrote a letter saying, this is Mark Bombeck script. I didn't know I was one of the guys who tried to take it apart and mess it up. And in the end, this is the movie they wanted to make and march you get so credit.

Alex Ferrari 41:53
And there you go. Now are you on? Are you on set for a lot of these big movies as a writer?

Doug Richardson 42:00
I'm not the diehards while I was already fired by that. A bad boys Yeah. And hostage I you know, hostage. I didn't leave that movie until it was in previews. I was not allowed to leave that I was on the set every second I got one day off. Because I'm writing

Alex Ferrari 42:22
and you're writing they always ask you hey, what can you do a patch up on this? Or what do you think of that?

Doug Richardson 42:27
Well, since I'm there, I mean, there's always a writer on the movie, but since I was there, and I had a French director, and I had very, bullheaded movie star who, uh, you know, like having me around and like having me to fight battles with him or for him. Uh, you know, there was a, there were there were a lot of little changes and stuff. But on that movie, whether you love it or hate the hostage, which people tend to either love or hate it, that was the movie we really went out to make. And, you know, there it is. And, as a writer, I probably never get less if I wrote and directed the movie myself and had complete control. I probably would never have that kind of sway on a movie with a director and a movie star again.

Alex Ferrari 43:18
Got it. Got. So that was that was

Doug Richardson 43:22
to the point where it was out of control. To the point was like, I couldn't leave. I had other assignments. I actually lost money on a hostage, literally, because you've been working on other movies. I had other assignments I supposed to do, and they would not. I was supposed to be on the set for the first week. Right? And, you know, go and I and, you know, Bruce was like, No, you can't leave and then Flom would say no, you can't leave. And this went through all the production and then in the edit room, and in the test screenings. Jesus, yeah. You're a hostage. I was I've actually it's a five part blog that you can read on my you can read it for free on my site, or you can buy the book, the smoking gun, which I was gonna talk about that, which is it's Oh, actually, no, you can't read it on my site. You can only read it in the book. Because that's the there's a five or six part blog called writer called writer held hostage. That is in the smoking gun, which tells a lot of the stories of how I couldn't get off that movie. Wow. All the way to arbitration with Robert craves and was just

Alex Ferrari 44:36
no arbitration. And I've heard many other writers talk about arbitration. Can you explain a little bit to the audience what arbitration is with the Writers Guild? Okay, in a nutshell,

Doug Richardson 44:46
it's roughly Well, one word, hell.

Alex Ferrari 44:49
That's what I've heard from everybody who's ever dealt with it.

Doug Richardson 44:52
Well, it's so antithetical to writing, right? It's so antithetical to collaboration. It becomes this legal list a process that writers are succumb to, you know, if they want to receive credit, and now it pits writers against writers. And then studios are able to use the conflict to their own advantage. In that, that's why they offer these, they, they use it to their advantage of that they will pay you less money up front for the movie, and then say, but if you get a credit, we'll give you this bonus.

Alex Ferrari 45:33
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Doug Richardson 45:44
So if they put the carrot on the stick for the writer who might not have might have only contributed, contributed 20%, something that you would the guild would not consider credit worthy. But try and make a case that maybe you contributed 33%, or maybe 50%, depending upon the standard. required and and to then go in and rightfully so the studio's are also part of it, but it's not fun. And you know, it's imagined going in, and you know, anyone out there who's written anything, and then having to go in and defend what you've written on paper to other writers, to a faceless panel of three writers on paper and explain why you deserve credit, instead of that guy. Wow. It's not fun at all. It stops everything in your life, for that period of time. And it's also created an industry of people who do nothing but write arbitrations for other writers.

Alex Ferrari 46:48
That's it, there's a whole industry around it, yep. Jesus man,

Doug Richardson 46:53
this, then I don't sides. I've actually done arbitrations. And have you ever written arbitrations? No, I've watched an ad, I've read arbitrations, I've served as an arbiter, oh, God, it's a it's not fun. No, and you but you want to be fair, and you know, cuz you've done. If you've been in one, you really feel like, okay, and in or maybe if you've been in one and felt like you got you were on the wrong side of it, or maybe felt like you got on the right side of it, because someone did it. Right. You sort of feel like, you know, you're going to be a good juror, and help make a good decision.

Alex Ferrari 47:31
Now, let me ask you a question. Are you any good at pitching? When you go on a pitch? And if you are

Doug Richardson 47:36
good, now I'm certain I now I've decided I suck. I

Alex Ferrari 47:40
used to think you were good.

Doug Richardson 47:41
I think it's it's just a different world of pitch. Now if I have to go in and pitch the whole movie, which I kind of think you need to do almost, I'm not good at it. Got it. You know, I? It's like,

Alex Ferrari 47:54
it's not like the player. Like Robert Altman is a player where, at the beginning of that opening scene, you see writers just going in like, so there's a girl, she's beautiful. She gets drunk. Don't get a job.

Doug Richardson 48:04
Yeah, it's you go in and you used to I used to be able to my whole thing was I would try and pitch characters and, and the first act that would leave everyone with a nice question, Mark. And if it was a good jumping off point, yeah, I had the rest of the movie. But that was a, that became a really energetic and exciting discussion. In the room, instead of you're looking at blank faces. Again, as you're telling the story, they're trying to quantify it for their boss in their heads, do I like it or not? Like, can I quantify it? Can I sell it? Can I, you know, and tell it to them in a way that they can. You know, if there's one point during the pitch, I'm like, if you're not engaged in the pitch as involved in asking questions, I'm sort of like, You must be bored. Now other people are brilliant at it. I've been in pitches with other writers. It's sit there and sit down for 45 minutes, you just been a tail and leave you breathless. Right? And that's a Yeah, that's a talent. I do not possess to do it that way. I've gotten it done. But boy, I would do good. Do everything I possibly could to not have to be in that situation.

Alex Ferrari 49:20
know, when you've written a load of action movies, like how do you approach writing big action sequences and these kinds of studio movies?

Doug Richardson 49:30
Ah, I wrote an interesting blog about that recently, just because I got asked that for the 9 million times. Sorry, excited. No, no, it's the most. No, I never get the question I get asked the most. Okay, so anyone who's listening this podcast, if they go to my website and read Action speaks, there's a longer version of this answer. I'll put it in the show notes. But in that in that yeah, go to my website and just look up Action speaks in the blog section. At good at action sequence because when I wrote my first action film, which was that that diehard thing, that little diehard thing Yeah, I hadn't written one before. Um, but it's the ones I like. And the way I prefer to approach them is that they're, it's a suspense film. And the best action is like writing a great scene in a suspense film. The only difference is, is the conflict, um, engages and blooms in action, in, you know, almost sort of like combusts. Ah, and in, and you know, that and also then creates another problem for your character, you know, a good action film, unless it's the final action film of the scene, a good action scene, it was the finest, the final scene of the film doesn't, you know, shouldn't resolve it should create a bigger problem that needs to be solved, that eventually needs to be handled in action. It also only works going to talk about what's first character plot, if, if your character is deeply engaged and involved, which is why again, a suspense scene only works if you have a sense of suspense with what's going to happen with your character, how is your character going to behave? If you just got a whole lot of really great stuff happening, but you don't have a character engaged in it, some people would call that steaks. Um, but I call it characters with different agendas, oftentimes, fighting for some form of supremacy. If you've got that kind of conflict in that scene, if you don't have that kind of conflict with characters injected into that scene, then it'll lay flat.

Alex Ferrari 51:51
Kind of like when giant Transforming Robots fight for 30 minutes.

Doug Richardson 51:59
I'm making but you but But you, I could say that. You went there, and you can incur Michael Bay's wrath. I know from

Alex Ferrari 52:07
I've actually wrath of de the wrath of bay with Bay ham. I actually am and a lot of people I've actually wrote a whole article post about it. I truly believe that Michael Bay is a genius and what he does, yeah, and I think he changed the game for action is ever since the rock and Armageddon pacifically the rock action movies changed the way they're shot. I mean, everyone tries

Doug Richardson 52:31
to steal his style, and you can see it, you can see it movie after movie movie after

Alex Ferrari 52:36
movie. He is him and Tony Scott both changed the game. In the way action was shot in the 90s. And moving forward. Do I like all of Michael Bay's movies? No, they're not sometimes they're not the great, I still think the rock is probably his best movie. Other than bad boys, of course, which Bad Boys is up there as well. But at a certain point, like Armageddon is just fun popcorn. I mean, it's ridiculous. The movies ridiculous, but it's so much fun to watch. But I do think he's a genius. And what he does, I think, like a lot of times, directors get a little bit. They drink too much of their own Kool Aid. And I think, possibly with a 35 minute action sequence with giant transformers, which don't have as big of a stake as they should. I think that's where certain things go wrong. But

Doug Richardson 53:22
can I Kenick? Can I tell you where I think Michael Bay's real, real geniuses, please. I mean, whether you like his dirty movies or not, and there's certainly people who don't like his movies. He's x with exception of two movies. He's been wise enough to tie his big giant ego and machine all to either a bigger ego or a bigger filmmaker. He's had either Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer over his shoulder. And Jerry is a genius, by the way. Yeah, Jerry is a genius. I've seen it. I because I've seen it in action. Jerry is a genius. And, and so was Dawn, but there's a certain genius to Jerry, you know, you got to kind of sort of be there to say, and, and then, you know, with the transformer films, as Spielberg has always been there. And you know, other than that the two films that he that they have made have made that haven't done well. Have been both with films where you didn't have those godfathers,

Alex Ferrari 54:30
the island and yeah, pain again. Right. Right.

Doug Richardson 54:35
So and, you know, I'm not saying he can't succeed without them because he's been extraordinarily successful. But I think there's a certain wisdom to saying, You know what, there's a bit of a comfort zone here that I can you know, that there's that got that Godfather, who can come Come in and whisper in my ear and say, maybe that's too much.

Alex Ferrari 55:03
Maybe you should pull back here.

Doug Richardson 55:04
Maybe you should pull back here. Maybe we should have. Maybe I'm not feeling a heartbeat here. So maybe we should go find what are you know, and and I think that's, you know, and to you that's something that that that's not a knock on on Bay. I think that's where credit's due.

Alex Ferrari 55:23
Well, no, I think that's I think that's a really great observation because you're right and to smart director to always have someone whoever that person might be who's smarter than you are. Right you I mean, that's that's the key to any great leader right? It's always have people who are smarter than you around you.

Doug Richardson 55:41
Right. And I'm not transformed my films, you know, Lorenza Devonta, Ventura and, and Mark variety and are no idiots. No, either. So, of course, of course, of course.

Alex Ferrari 55:51
Now, tell us a little bit about your smoking gun book. I saw it on your website.

Doug Richardson 55:56
Smoky monk gun book is a lot of people have been asking for a long time, when am I going to we're going to put my blogs into book form. And eventually, I just sort of succumbed to my books are read, my my blogs are repurposed on script mag, like three or four months after I write them. Because the woman who runs script mag, Jeannie Berman is one of my favorite people on the planet. And so it's like, and then it was sort of like in the this publishing company, FW media owns script mag, and Writer's Digest and a few other things. And so they came along and said, Will you please let us publish them in a volume? So we put together the first one. And there you go, well, that'd be two and three, or whatever, who knows?

Alex Ferrari 56:47
Now you do write a lot of novels as well, you're very successful novelist, is there a different process when you writing the novel versus a screenplay?

Doug Richardson 56:54
Yes, and no, the basic process of get up, write it, you know, rewrite it, want to make it you know, if it's not compelling, then do it again. And why is, you know, the, my whole thing is, whether you're reading a script or a book, I want the reader to turn the page and they gotta want it, they got to feel compelled to turn the page, you know, whatever the processor, or, or platform, or platform or architecture of the pieces you just use, if it's not compelling, then you know, they're gonna, someone's gonna put it down, it's tiring to read crap. So. So that's the same process, though, the process of writing straight narrative and fiction, as you know, is, you know, movies are sight and sound only highly constructed. Yes, you know, the elasticity of language that you have, and just writing fiction, and not being not being subject to just sight and sound only is, you know, really fun. It's fun to do it, obviously. And it's it's a, it's also a direct connection with readers, because the people who are reading your screenplays aren't necessarily reading it to be entertained, right, their job or their product, right? Again, they're the quantifiers they're there to, to tell, give it to their boss, or give it to their client or, you know, or get someone involved or give it to finance here, they're all looking to move that ball up the hill, someone who is reading your work, whether it be a blog, my blog, or my books, are reading them to be entertained. So that's the other real difference between doing the two. There's a real direct connection with your you know, your audience.

Alex Ferrari 58:42
Now, if you were gonna give one piece of advice to a screenwriter starting out today,

Doug Richardson 58:47
what would that be? Stop. I've always wanted to say that I've never said that I've been asked that a lot. I've done a lot of panels. Just stop, go get a real job. I would say I would give a few pieces of advice, one of which is the most talented people in Hollywood. Aren't the most successful people in Hollywood. It's true. in show business, it's the most relentless people. Yep. So you need to channel and find that bit of relentless inside of you. And always and and feed it and care for it and bathe it and clean it. And make sure it's ready to go up and rip assholes again tomorrow. Because that if you're because it's so competitive, you get what's gonna make you get up and do it in the morning. Or if you're not even there yet. And you've got some other job. You know what I'm blown away. But I mean, I, the people that I know who have set not second job, second, they have careers, actual careers, and they're writing on the side and trying to push that ball Up the hill. I, I just had odd jobs when I started then I got that I started making a living at it and haven't looked back. There are people who have real life jobs, and they have to, they have to find in curry that competitive passion. And that competitive passion should also be there to make sure this is the other side of that. That relentless thing is. People ask me, you know, when should I send the script out? Is it what how do you know it's good yet? Well? Is it awesome? Is your work awesome. Your work better be awesome. Make your work awesome. If your work isn't awesome, then then it's not gonna get noticed. What makes you special? What makes your work stand out? In some way? in some form. It needs to flat out be awesome. Not okay. Not Yeah, that'd be back in the day. The day I'm such a dinosaur. Yeah, back when I was a pup. They would throw money at people with talent and drive. I had talent drive and I got going. Now they don't have the patience for it. For talent and drive. They expect you to come in ready to go.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:13
They don't want they don't want to have to nurture not work. Yeah,

Doug Richardson 1:01:16
I got lucky. I had some great people with me. I worked with them. I learned I'm still learning. But still there was not you need to come in and be really good. You need to be great. You need to be special. What makes you stand out? What's your they're reading 1000s and 1000s of crappy screenplays every day? Why does your standout? You know and is it your voice? Is it your ability to to you know, is it your perspective? Is it your ability to write a great action scene? Is it you know, there's got to be something in it that makes people go Hmm, that's interesting. Why am I remembering that script?

Alex Ferrari 1:01:55
Let me ask you a question. Let me ask you a question about what like I remember the olden days, the Shane Black days. You know, back when, you know Shane was getting Yeah, three miles and Joe Astor house. I mean, these guys was getting those reminders. Yeah, they were making like obscene amounts, 2 million, 3 million, 5 million for scripts that Joe has your house God, My God, he made millions for movies and never got made.

Doug Richardson 1:02:17
Yeah, those were those about that. And you can realize, yeah, I

Alex Ferrari 1:02:23
mean, it was obscene. Now, and I thought those days were kind of over. But now Max Landis is starting to come back out with these kind of ridiculous deals, as well, for his movies and his voice. So do you think that are those days going to start coming back? Or is he just

Doug Richardson 1:02:41
back? Oh, because those days are always gonna come back in one form or another. It is cyclical. People do want to watch filmed entertainment. They do want to watch there's you know, there's a lot more interactive entertainment, but passive Entertainment has been around since campfires shouldn't want to or good story. People want to see a good story. They want to be told a good story and be moved. Okay, whether they're watching it on their phone or watching it on a drive in. Okay, there's still going to be that. Okay, so and those voices are going to be found and whether they're found in you know, the work of Max Landis are there found by the Weinstein's you know, probably burn in hell, but they did find Quentin and got you know, no, yeah. And that, you know, that's happened to whoever found and decided to, you know, do I mean to me, I'm just I'm in love with, with Sam S model. It's like Mr. Robot, I think is brilliant. And here's a guy who just seemingly came out of nowhere, practically, and is running a show and doing something that's brilliant with his very original voice. Those are going to stand out a video at Vince Gilligan, Vince Gilligan There you go. It's another one. You need to have the patience to within the craft to stay in there and withstand those those cycles and beatings until maybe your voice comes out in its own way. Yeah, it's

Alex Ferrari 1:04:07
it's been around forever. I mean, right. He's been working in X Files. And I mean, he was working, he's a working writer, and then all of a sudden, he said, different Breaking Bad, the crash

Doug Richardson 1:04:15
and he was around forever. For me, Jesus. No one knew Krantz who could do that, but Vince Gilligan, and Brian, and Brian crafts and then boom, and the rest. So, you know, sometimes those voices come early. I mean, I used to love I'm a big fan of film acting. And, you know, Anthony Quinn, who was always a great actor, when he reached his moment. And he said, I finally think I've I understood the filmmaking. I understood, you know, how to control the quiet and how to, you know, and that's when he suddenly went from being a really solid British actor to this frickin genius who went off these runs of characters from Shadow Lands to? Obviously silence of the lands, you know, so Remains of the Day. I hate these crate rolls. sure where we're at that at an advanced age. He found his voice fun. Yeah, Hopkins

Alex Ferrari 1:05:17
Yeah. I mean, how old was he, when he did sounds of the Lambs, and he was in his 50s 50s,

Doug Richardson 1:05:20
or something like that. But again, you sort of it just sometimes it comes early sometimes. And you see, people with these voices, they start and they burn out. Yeah. And it's not an easy business. And then sometimes, maybe, you know, I'm still waiting, you know, who knows, maybe I'm still waiting to find my voice. I've written what you would consider a bunch of programmers. You know, I think with my books, you know, what my lucky day series is, I think I've finally sort of found my voice. Like, okay, this is what I really, now I feel like I, I, I'm, there's something here that's interesting that I'm saying that's worthwhile and valuable. And whatever. You never know when that's gonna happen. I think as a writer, you gotta kind of sort of also work at it and be patient. I mean, Lin frickin Manuel Miranda, who's obviously got more press than anyone can imagine right now. So it's something really cool. In that 60 minutes thing he did it those who don't know who he is, he's the guy who behind Hamilton.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:18
He's, he's really,

Doug Richardson 1:06:19
really is brilliant. But he said some, this may not be his line. He may be someone else's line. But they asked him about writing he says writing is is like the rusty water coming out of the faucet. Okay, yeah, right until the waters clear. And then keep the clear.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:41
Eye right, saw that 60 minutes. I remember that. And

Doug Richardson 1:06:43
as a writer, I went ding That's perfect. That's perfect. That makes such sense. It makes such sense for so many people. You know, sometimes it takes a long time to get there. Just be patient and grind.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:54
Yeah, I was just I was just I just had Jim who was on. Okay, on the show. I don't know if you know, Jim or not. Jim, but he said something similar. He said it gave some great advice about how to get through how to write and he basically goes, write your first draft. Put it away. Write another movie. First Draft, put it away. Write a third movie. First Draft.

Doug Richardson 1:07:16
Don't stop right away. Now go back to the first movie. That is brilliant advice. And he goes now you're a better writer. brilliant advice. Because I always I always call it don't be a one trick pony. Yeah, just don't. Isn't you did script you're you've been working on for eight years. Ah. Okay, stop right now. Yeah, go write three or four more things and then go back to it. You know, then you better it is right. You'll be so much better at it. Don't be that guy who just that one thing a writer, someone who can write lots of things. And you're and but that I think that is a much clearer cleaner version of of mine. I will steal it and use it.

Alex Ferrari 1:07:56
Yes, you should. This is great. So I'm going to ask you a couple questions that I tell ask all my guests. Okay, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in life or in the film industry?

Doug Richardson 1:08:09
Patients good more in life than anything else? Patience, and I'm still learning it every day. Yep. My re about it.

Alex Ferrari 1:08:20
And life does tend to teach you that lesson.

Doug Richardson 1:08:22
Yes. Children those things, but yeah, patients, you know, not not sit back and watch it go by patients, but just slow down. Be patient. There is tomorrow. You know, there is tomorrow, and then there's tomorrow and just get up and do it again. Exactly. That's, that's. That's that answer.

Alex Ferrari 1:08:45
Alright. And then what are your three favorite films of all time?

Doug Richardson 1:08:48
I hate this question. I hate this question. I

Alex Ferrari 1:08:50
hate this question. Question. Three movies that tickles your fancy at the moment. Okay,

Doug Richardson 1:08:55
cuz there's always there's the there's one period Once Upon a Time in the West. Great movie.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:02
Amazing opening sequence.

Doug Richardson 1:09:03
It's the and and those of you haven't seen it. Okay. Don't see it. Until you've watched in order for a few dollars. $4. Yep. Then watch a few dollars more. Yep. Then watch the good, the bad, the ugly. Not the truncated versions. And then once you kind of built up to it, then when you see what's going on Time in the West, make sure it's a great sound system and a great screen. Because that score is unbelievable. Use of Sound to that original sequence that opening sequence and everything else. That movie is just to me the greatest opera ever so and I I cry when I see it. So there's that movie. Ah, then everything else is hard. So I'll throw out things that really tickle my fancy. Okay. I'm a huge fan lately of I can't watch No Country for Old Men enough. It's a great movie. It fits by I think the purse kind of the novels I write, have that sort of noir ish ness to them. At the same time, it's about that thin line between doing right and wrong. And the road it can take you down. And I think that movie does it in so many ways. And so many different levels. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:22
And great created one of the greatest villains of all time. Yeah,

Doug Richardson 1:10:25
that you can still watch. It's just that movie. What was what's better in the movie, the directing the writing, the performance, the homage is to Cormac McCarthy's work in it. It's running on all cylinders. I'm ugly Jones. It's just what came for the dime walked in going walked in with you. I mean, like, God, I just go crazy, then. Okay, and then there's a lot of close thirds, you know, I guess I would go I'm going to go to maybe the movie that made me want to make movies, which would be gold finger.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:58
I love gold thing or man, that's a great movie.

Doug Richardson 1:11:00
I mean, I mean, the movie. What made me want to be a writer was was Ian Fleming. Those are the first books I ever read in my life that I wanted to read make me read another book, because I wasn't bitter then. But you know, when I was a kid, but Goldfinger was like, that was sort of like, wow, I mean to a young man, you know, with hormones. Oh, and yes, and dreams and living in a tiny town. And, like, you see that and you kind of think the really the world is possible. Yep. So that was the one that made you want to make movies. So I guess those will be my three.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:40
And where can people find you man? Online?

Doug Richardson 1:11:43
richardson.com. Pretty simple twit before all the other Doug Richardson's in the world did and there's a lot of us yes, there

Alex Ferrari 1:11:53
is you got you got on the bandwagon early.

Doug Richardson 1:11:55
got there early. And yeah, and you know, if you're a fan of the movies, I really if you like good really crime fiction. I really suggest you go to my site and pick up a lucky day book. Awesome. And you I promise you will be entertained.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:11
Doug man, it's been a pleasure talking to you man. It's been a lot of fun geeking out with you and and you've been dropping some great knowledge bombs. So thank you so much, man. It has

Doug Richardson 1:12:18
been a geek fest hasn't it has

Alex Ferrari 1:12:20
a little bit of a geek fest is

Doug Richardson 1:12:23
all right, pal. They get alright take care.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:26
I had an absolute ball talking to Doug man he was he was so cool. And the stories from the sets from the diehard set from the bad boy set it's it was great. I heard all these stories about bad boys cuz I was in Miami when they were shooting it. And I had heard all of these stories about how Michael Bay had made it and all these kind of like, you know originally for Jon Lovitz, and Dana Carvey and all these kinds of things, and it was really great to hear straight from the horse's mouth what actually happened on that set because bad boys is one of my favorite movies. I love my favorite action movies. Definitely one of my favorite 90s action movies without question and and, you know, there's no transforming robots in that one. But, but anyway, guys, I hope you enjoyed it. Hope you got a lot of got a lot of good information out of that episode. Thank you, Doug, again for being a guest and dropping those knowledge bombs. And the show notes for this episode are at Indie film hustle.com, forward slash b p. S 003. And there you can get links to anything we discussed in this episode. And please do not forget to go to screenwriting podcast.com And subscribe to this podcast and leave us a good review. It really helps us out in the iTunes ranking, and helps get the word out on this podcast and the work that we're trying to do by helping as many screenwriters as humanly possible. And as always, never stop writing no matter what. I'll talk to you soon.

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