Issue 1: A Conversation with Terry George and Tony Gilroy

Our first Issue focuses on screenwriting, with a vibrant discussion between Oscar®-nominated writer/directors Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, In the Name of the Father) and Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Identity), moderated by Jamal Joseph, Chair of the Columbia University Graduate Film Department. It was held on January 27, 2011 at our new Writers Guild offices.

On Inspiration

Terry George and Tony Gilroy reflect on the many influences and experiences that have informed their work and propelled their careers.

On Character

Terry and Tony delve into the most enduring element in any form of great writing – character. They discuss their individual approaches to finding the key to a character, whether drawn from “real life” or purely fictional, and the many ways in which that point of view informs the story.

On Process

Perhaps the hardest thing for a writer to explain is his “process.” Yet, it’s often one of the first things he’s asked about , whether by colleagues or students. The answer usually isn’t as neatly packaged as one might expect from reading Syd Field, or taking Robert McKee’s course. And it won’t be found in any of the 10,000 suggestions offered in some magical screenwriting software either.

In this installment, Terry and Tony discuss their common challenges, share their individual approaches and reveal the personal struggles involved in getting to the creative heart of a good screenplay.

On Rewrites & Responsibility

In this final segment of our Premiere Issue, George and Gilroy discuss some of the less talked about aspects and challenges of screenwriting, as well as the impact that a script can have, not only on the audience, but on industry decision makers.

From their standpoint as award-winning writers and directors, Tony (Michael Clayton) and Terry (Hotel Rwanda) contrast the two roles and the influence that each has on the final product. They take on the pitfalls of rewriting for hire and provide insight into the difference between writing and directing their own scripts and realizing the vision of others.