Friday 20 December 2013

Billy Ray: Tricks of the Trade

Here's a great little interview from Mike De Luca's The Dialogue series.

Billy Ray is the writer of Color of Night (1994), Volcano (1997), Hart's War (2002), Flightplan (2005), Breach (2007), State of Play (2009), The Hunger Games (2012), Captain Phillips (2013), and many others. When he talks about screenwriting, it's obvious he knows what he's taking about.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good interview. These ones always start by being a "rare, in-the-trenches look a the craft of screenwriting" but then go off in different directions depending on the screenwriter.

Billy Ray sticks up for his agent father which is good to see. He has a critique group which provides both tough advice and encouragement.

I think the most interesting thing Billy Ray says is that scripts these days don't have subtext and don't have a dilemma for the characters.

The only thing that worried me was his mention of Robert McKee's class which 'taught him a new way of thinking about structure.' McKee's work is derivative and uses frequently unacknowledged but well known sources. If Billy Ray learned a lot from McKee then he must have missed doing a lot of independent study.