The script letters are now the stuff of movie lore.
They are the things that bring actors and directors together.
And, if you’re a fan of those letters, how do you keep them?
I recently had the pleasure of attending a meeting in which two young writers who are among the most celebrated writers in Hollywood sat down and shared their scripts.
Here are the stories of how they came to have the letters.—John Lanchester and Daniel Handler (from the movie The Revenant)When I was a kid, my mother’s script letters were the stuff that brought me to the movies.
When my father wrote, “The only thing I want to see is the stars,” I thought it was an incredible compliment.
But when I heard that I was reading his screenplay for the movie, I couldn’t believe it.
“I have to tell you,” I said.
“It’s a bad idea.”
“Well, you don’t need to,” my father replied.
“The star isn’t that important.”—John Cleese (from The Great Escape)For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to read a script letter.
The letters that my father gave me were written in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
It’s a long time ago, and we all know that the letters have long since passed.
But my father kept those scripts and put them in my hands.
His scripts are full of brilliant stories that have stayed with me through the years.
The ones he had me read were so good that he actually had them typed up.
The letter he wrote when I was 13 years old was like the magic of the letters: “You’re so beautiful, you’ve got this kind of beauty.”—Daniel Handler (writing the screenplay for The Revenger)When we got my first script, we were reading it to my dad.
I asked him what it was about.
“You have to get a letter from me,” he said.
I felt like a fraud.
But that was all my father could say.
My father had a great memory, so I started to think, If I have a copy of his script, maybe he would like to read it to me.
“Yes, I think you’ll like it,” he replied.
The next day, I picked up a copy from the attic, and I read it for the first time.
My dad had such a lovely voice and was so expressive, but his script was so long and complicated that it took me a long while to get over how much work had gone into it.
But I was able to read the script and it was wonderful.
I had no idea what to expect, but when I got to the end, I knew that I’d never write the same script again.—Jane Campion (from Blue Jasmine)The scripts that my parents gave me and my siblings were all so different.
My grandmother wrote scripts in the 1920s, when the world was more like it is now.
But they were all very different in terms of subject matter.
My parents wrote in a more romantic vein.
My mother wrote about love, the love of a wife, and the relationship between a husband and wife.
I wanted to write in the same vein, so my grandmother wrote about her marriage to the man she called Daddy.
My sisters and I wrote in more of a more tragic vein.
Our grandmother wrote letters about losing a parent, but she also wrote about losing her own husband.
I was writing about my father.
When I was in elementary school, my grandmother sent me a letter that had been written by her husband.
He died when she was a baby, and he wrote, My father died when I woke up in my bed.
I don’t know how to explain it, but I felt a strong urge to get up and write something about him.
I started writing a letter and my grandmother replied to me: “Dear Diary, I’m going to write to you today.
I think I can tell you that I think that you’ll be a good writer.”
My mother was the one who had to write the letters for me.
I never got to read any of them, but it’s an amazing thing to read, and it’s the first book I’ve read.—Lili Reinhart (writing for The Office)I had a script for my father that was supposed to be his.
My mom sent me it.
I found it in a drawer at the library.
It was a script that I had written a long, long time before I ever got to write a script.
It said that my mother had died in a car accident when I went to school.
She was just 27.
I got the script from my father and my mother read it.
My script was very specific, and they had a big meeting the next day to talk about the script.
I said to my mother,