7 Screenwriting Insights from Academy Award-Winner Brian Helgeland

He goes on to tell the story about initially rejecting an offer from Eastwood to write the adaptation of Mystic River. Helgeland sent the message through his agent. That day, which was a Sunday, Eastwood called him and asked him where he lived. Helgeland offered to drive to him, but Eastwood insisted on making the hour plus drive. Some time later that Sunday, Eastwood came knocking. He entered the house, looked around, and didn’t speak too much. Helgeland offered him a drink. Eastwood said no. Helgeland offered him a cookie. Eastwood took it as Helgeland started to get him a plate until Eastwood stopped him, saying that he didn’t need one. He walked into the kitchen and ate the cookie over the kitchen sink silently — such silent moments with Clint Eastwood are not unusual. Helgeland sat down at the kitchen table until Eastwood turned towards his direction with no eye contact and said, “So are you going to do the book?”

“Yes sir, I’ll do the book.”

Directors and writers are lost without each other.

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