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Oooh, Denis McGrath over at Dead Things on Sticks tagged me with my very first meme. Why do we hate chain letters but love memes? Is it because it’s a cool word with a cool non-blog definition? Anyway, apparently Fun Joel started this one for screenwriting bloggers, but outsiders can play too.

What was your earliest film-related memory?
I have a vague memory of throwing up in the lobby when my mom took me to see some movie that disturbed me. I think there were lots of swirling psychadelic colours. Or maybe blood. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Herbie Rides Again – I wasn’t that sensitive a kid – but that’s the first movie I clearly remember seeing in a theatre when I was about four. Though not very clearly … I was going to say Herbie the Love Bug except I looked it up on IMDB and I wasn’t born yet for that one.

Name two favorite lines from movies

  • “How dare you make love to me and not be a married man.” – Ingrid Bergman to Cary Grant in Indiscreet
  • “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed.” – John Cusack in Say Anything

Three jobs you’d do if you could not work in “The Biz”

The Biz? You mean the writing for the non-profit world Biz? Um, yeah, so obviously I’m not actually in The Biz, I just like to write about it. But if I wasn’t in the glamorous world of web and newsletter production, with a side of blogging about entertainment, I’d like to be:

  • a librarian (except the movies have really ruined that as an exciting career choice, haven’t they?)
  • a linguistic anthropologist
  • a travel writer with a hefty expense account

Name four jobs you have actually held outside The Industry.

  • Sears lingerie department clerk. Not as sexy as it sounds (and given the “Sears,” it probably doesn’t sound very sexy to begin with) since it involved fitting a lot of old women – and the occasional man – for bras.
  • Teaching English to French New Brunswick high school students (for a year) and Mexican business people (for 2 months). Taught me to fake patience well. And that I have no desire to be a teacher.
  • Barista at Starbucks. I know lots about coffee, except why people think it tastes good without lots and lots of steamed milk.
  • Administrator for a tiny playwrights’ organization, which convinced me that writing plays and scripts must be the hardest kind of writing there is, and who would want to do that?!

Three book authors I like
Gah, just three? I’ll stick with ones who aren’t dead and whose next book I’m always anticipating: Anne Tyler, Nick Hornby, Ann-Marie MacDonald.

Name two movies you would like to remake or properties you’d like to adapt
Well, I guess I’d hire Denis or someone to adapt Life of Pi by Yann Martel and The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (I don’t care if you like them or not – in this fictional world where I’m making movies, I’m paying big bucks).

Name one screenwriter you think is underrated
I like Denis’ answer: “all of them.” It’s why I started trying to interview some TV writers (Lawrence Kaplow of House for one, and stay tuned for another one next week) – I got annoyed and amazed at how some fans tend to give credit to the actors for everything, including plot and dialogue, and also that the Emmys were thinking about making winning writers and directors pre-tape their acceptances speeches so they didn’t take up valuable awards show time (my slight rant on that is here).

Oh, I have to tag people now? No one in The Biz knows me, so I’ll pick a spec monkey and two people who should write more: