Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant Explain How To Become A Screenwriter, Keep Your Heart From Breaking

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The Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant episode of Life After Film School is available on Hulu, along with many other excellent screenwriter interviews that will be eating your free time this weekend. The pair lays down some serious screenwriting wisdom in between reminiscing about costumes taken from Moulin Rouge, Teddy Roosevelt quotes and the eye patch Lennon wore after getting beaten “almost to death” while in film school. A few gems they share about their process includes:

•On how to prepare yourself for a screenwriting career: “Be ready to throw away 75%, 80% of what you write, and not have it break your heart.”

•On the benefit of writing for live performances: “The first time you write something and you think it’s brilliant…then you hear it out loud and you think, oh my god, he sounds like a Martian.”

•On improv being the best: “Improv is the best.”

•On writing their first film: “We’d only written sketches, but we’d written hundreds and hundreds of sketches, so we knew how to write comedy. But we had no sense of what a screenplay should be like…which it helped us, because it didn’t read like anyone else’s screenplay.”

•On writing for the studios: “Your job is to make the ideas of somebody else good, or leave.”

•On lessons learned from Herbie: Fully Loaded: “Get ready to get fired all the time, constantly, and then get replaced by your best friend. Then they’ll get fired, and you’ll replace them.”

•On the process: “Writing movies is easy and fun. Writing outlines is time-consuming and very complicated and really annoying and a drag and it sucks.”