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Writing for Visual Media, 2nd Edition by Anthony Friedmann

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16

Writing for the Entertainment World

The writer is indispensable, yet not always valued—at least in the entertainment world. Sam Goldwyn is reported to have called scriptwriters “shmucks with Under-woods.” An Underwood, for those who have no cultural memory about this, is a make of manual typewriter. So you’re a shmuck with a laptop. Robert Altman’s brilliant film The Player (1992) gives you an idea of what life as a writer in Hollywood might be like, even though it is edged with satire and more in-jokes about the industry than most outsiders would understand. In the movie, a studio executive makes an interesting statement that goes something like, “My studio accepts twenty thousand submissions a year and puts ...

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