Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Five Questions Over Coffey

Yes, I know I owe Katie a meme and I'll get to it, but best online friend forever or not, I have to go in order, and this has been brewing for a few days. I've been hit with some the hardest questions this side of 60 Minutes by Beth Coffey. There will be no Larry King-type fawning, easy soft PR lobs that barely pass as questions.

No, I'm talking Beth Coffey, the Ali of bloggers and if I can't stand up to all five questions, the ghost of Howard Cosell will say "down goes Procrastinator! Down goes Procrastinator!"

Get the kids out of the room and prepare to flinch, this will not be pretty.

1. When did you first realize you were born to be a screenwriter?

There is a two-part answer to this.

1)The first is when I saw "Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters." That film was my "Citizen Kane" and it just blew me away. It was so different from anything I've ever seen. After that, I knew I wanted to do something different, but I didn't know what.

2)Rob Morrow was on Saturday Night Live back in
1992. I've never related to a character more than one that he played in a skit. He is at a gathering at a restaurant and he would come up with the perfect joke and anecdote, some two or three conversations too late. In his frustration, his character went into the bathroom to vent and he stumbled upon a time machine. He used the machine to jump back to the very beginning of the gathering, where he was the whit of the party.

I realized that with my perpetual mental "satellite delay," the only person that enjoys this luxury is a screen or TV writer. Don't ask me why I didn't come to the same conclusion while watching "Back To The Future," some seven years before.

2. What do you consider the best screenplay of the last five years?

I wish I could narrow it down to just one. Of the more recent Neo-Noir, I love "
Never Die Alone." Then my favorite comedies are "Sideways," "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Stranger Than Fiction." "The Departed" is my favorite adaptation. Everyone should watch this and watch "Infernal Affairs" the following night, to appreciate the job that William Monahan did.

But my favorite of this century, is "Training Day."

3. Is procrastination an integral part of the creative process?

Unless one can turn it on and off like a faucet? Absolutely. Procrastination is a way of letting the creative process build sufficent water pressure until the creative juices can flow, pardon me for mixing metaphors.

4. What do you love best about your hometown of San Francisco — and what do you like least about it?

I would say food, but New York, Los Angeles and Miami could give us a run. So I'll pick tolerance instead. If people won't tolerate what you are doing in San Francisco, they are usually polite enough to ignore it.

Overcrowding and bad driving, I've adjusted to those things. But I like least about San Francisco is the ridiculously over-priced real estate. I have to sell a books or screenplays for mid-six figures, just buy a house in one of the worst neighborhoods. I'm talking junkies shooting up in your doorway, bars on the windows, bullets buzzing you like flies, and you can't walk out of your own house when the sun goes down.

5. Why do people watch "Two and a Half Men" and not an Andy Richter show?

Dammit, Beth, I'm only human! This is one of those questions that I simply can't explain!

Maybe they don't like the fact that Andy is stable in real life and isn't prone to implosion. Unlike "Two and a Half" where Sheen might implode or spontaneously combust at any moment.

Andy Richter is one of the best kept secrets in show business. He can do broad and sublime comedy. He is one of the artists in the world that could legitimately claim that the powers that be have it out for him. They keep giving him sitcoms and then, they won't promote them nor will they air those shows in the exact same time slots.

To be fair, the few minutes I've actually seen of "Two and a Half," were mildly amusing and Jon Cryer has had the rug pulled out from under him several times as well.

There were other questions that will not make it on to this blog. There are hints and allegations of me having a mullet...apparently Ms. Coffey has photos that one consider incriminating and she has a camera crew that has camped out right in front of my apartment building. I, uh, will...not succumb to such innuendo or bullying and my lawyer has advised me to plead the Fifth.



Anonymous Moviequill said...

awesome answers... I think my stopping to bitch about the process eating me up is actually a form of procrastination... so I forged through it and started writing again today

Tue May 01, 02:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Dale said...

You rose to the challenge of Beth's excellent investigative questions Write Procrastinator. I enjoyed your answers and may now have some movie watching to do to help get further inside your mullet-y head.

Tue May 01, 06:44:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


Thanks and I'm glad you toughed it out, and got back in the saddle.


Alleged mullet, al-leged. You'll never get inside my head Dale, because I'm not that deep ; )

Wed May 02, 07:07:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Chris said...

Great stuff, WP! We should talk movies some time. I'm curious about the work you do.

Wed May 02, 08:01:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Beth said...

I knew you'd write an entertaining column! And I think I remember that life-changing Rob Morrow skit.

Wed May 02, 04:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger BeckEye said...

I'm glad you didn't say that the SNL character you related to most was Massive Head Wound Harry.

Wed May 02, 05:03:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Dale said...

You may not be that deep but word has it your hair is.

Wed May 02, 07:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


I dare say at this juncture, you are more likely to see a book produced by me than a screenplay. Script readers don't like my stuff.


I was just trying to live up to your questions and I'm still reeling.

"And I think I remember that life-changing Rob Morrow skit."

What does it say about me that the few skits I can remember in the 90's was that one, Rob Schnieder's Copy Guy and Adam Sandler call-in show about "Denise."


I'm drawing a blank on that, does that mean I have a head wound?


I keep telling you, my hair is basically gone. As soon as I get a battery for the digital camera, I'll post the current status.

Wed May 02, 08:38:00 PM PDT  
Blogger angel said...

very interesting...
so we won't know whether you have a mullet or not...?

Sat May 12, 11:38:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


Have you seen that annoying movie ad (I don't know if they call them "trailers" in South Africa) for "Don't Say A Word," where Brittany Murphy says in an odd, detached sing-song voice "I'll never tell?"

Sun May 13, 12:06:00 AM PDT  

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