In: 17.44.34 Out: 17.45.10
Sound Bite: David Koepp – where did the idea come from
I was walking down the street, having a bad day feeling crabby toward people and uh I saw this big wooden tooth hanging out from somebody’s dental office, and I said, “that’s the right profession, because you can shove cotton in everybody’s mouth and you don’t have to listen to their shit.” And um, and uh, you know it’s not a very good day for me, and um, then I thought, this misanthropic dentist, this is a good character, what should I do to him? So I called John Kamps and we took it from there. But the idea of, the last person you want to be sort of angry and depressed is your dentist, so uh so we thought that would be funny
In: 17.45.14 Out: 17.45.38
Sound Bite: David Koepp – did he have Gervais in mind
I no, I try really hard to keep actors out of my head unless they’re dead actors, you know, like you can picture Jimmy Stewart if you want, you know like, but anybody alive, you never get that person and it actually wouldn’t be right if you did. You have let the character sort of become themselves and then you have something distinctive and then you cast it dynamically but you’ve got to keep the actors out of your head for the first couple drafts.
In: 17.45.40 Out: 17.45.56
Sound Bite: David Koepp – is it hard to write without an actor in mind
They tend to be writers who have a very good shot of getting that very person. Like the Coen brothers. Like, yeah sure, you guys can go ahead you can get em. Um but uh, no also for me I like a little bit of peace and quiet with the characters first.
In: 17.46.06 Out: 17.46.47
Sound Bite: David Koepp – on improve
Yeah it’s a funny kind of improvisation where you start off, they have a moment at the counter where they keep interrupting each other, and uh that was just a line or two in the script and I, somebody blew a line and somebody else interrupted them and I said oh that’s good, why don’t you keep interrupting each other, so that expanded over about 20 takes at just absurd levels it’s just nonsense, golbledigook for minutes at a time, um and then you edit it do something that makes a tiny bit of sense but is really fun, that kind of work is great because it livens up the day you know suddenly you’re doing unexpected things and making each other laugh and hopefully that translates.
In: 17.46.50 Out: 17.47.20
Sound Bite: David Koepp – is it the ultimate creative experience to write and direct
Pretty much, I mean you get to take it from India to sitting and chatting about it you know the whole experience. I don’t always want that. If it’s a big complicated extravaganza like Indiana Jones or Spider-Man or something like that then it’s great to be able to write it for some talented director and let him go over and worry about it. Um because I like you know sleeping in also. Um but uh but these smaller movies where it’s a few characters interacting with each other it’s great to be able to take it through yourself.
In: 17.47.33 Out: 17.47.54
Sound Bite: David Koepp – a writer’s work getting changed
Well that’s for sure I mean you can’t, if you really are interested in the singularity of your voice you should not go into screenwriting. Um it’s just, there’s, you need other people and tens of millions of dollars, and that’s you know that’s gonna necessitate other voices coming in so if you’re no comfortable with that you should write a novel.
Description: Ghost Town Junket David Koepp Interview 9/07/08
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