Wednesday 8 April 2015

Advice from Joe Eszterhas

Devil's Guide
One of the most successful spec screenwriters in Hollywood in the 1980s and '90s was Joe Eszterhas. His films included F.I.S.T., Flashdance, Music Box, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, and Telling Lies in America.

A lot of people don't like him for his lifestyle, his drug use, his arrogance, or his choice of stories to tell. I'm not here to defend him over any of those things, just to say: If you want to see how to write a great script that sells, read one by Joe. You can find a copy of the script for Basic Instinct here
Basic Instinct
In 2006 he published The Devil's Guide to Hollywood, a mix of reminiscences and Hollywood trivia in the guise of a handbook for wannabe screenwriters. (It's an eye-opener; well worth reading.)

In the following video, recorded at a public reading of that book in 2006, Joe talks about his research and how he went about writing some of his scripts, including Basic Instinct.

First posted: 4 October 2011

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