Film Courage: So before the interview we were
taking a look at your website and it’s excellent. It’s Actfourscreenplays.com. And you have so many interesting parts with
it, so we’re going to have some questions with that. One of which is I think something you wrote
where you put “In Hollywood, nothing will ever be stronger than a great story. Trends come and go, stars rise and fall, and
studios succeed and fold, but a great story will always be king.” I’m wondering if you can talk about why
story is king and some of the parts to that. Daniel Calvisi: Well, story is timeless. A great script or a great piece of material
is timeless. Trends do come and go in film. Visuals and use of CGI, development with digital
equipment. You know all of these things, 3d versus 2d,
now we’re getting into virtual reality. But what really matters is that great story. It doesn’t matter how big the budget of
the movie is. It doesn’t matter if it’s in 3D. The audience is going to respond if it’s
a great movie and a great story. So a great piece of material can really blow
away everything. Think about an actor, they are going to go
through various levels of popularity. They may be hot right now or not. But a great script is always going to be a
great script. So that’s really the only currency in Hollywood
that really means something. “No one knows anything,” as William Goldwyn
famously said about Hollywood. And look, there have been a number of movies
in Hollywood this year (as with any year) that bomb and probably a big reason is the
material. It’s not just that the stars are hot this
year. PASSENGERS with basically the two hottest
stars in the world (Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence) came out and it totally bombed. And I didn’t see it but I heard from some
people who did there is a lot wrong with apparently the script, the structure, with just the story
in general. The story didn’t grab people and it didn’t
matter how big the stars were in that role. So it’s really the only currency that you
have for writers. Your only currency is your material. It’s your spec script, whether it’s a
spec pilot for a TV series or a spec feature. Film Courage: I find that so interesting that
yes story is king, but the writer gets so little credit and is often not even brought
in on set and so many changes are made unbeknownst to them. So I find that fascinating because it really
does come down to that story. Because you talked about being a script reader
and there were a few stories that you still remember to this day. And how whether they pulled at your own heartstrings
or whatever it was, that story really does stay with you. Can you think of some films that you know
even from a child that really stayed with you and maybe they didn’t have huge stars
attached, maybe they did? Daniel Calvisi: Well, I just ordered two movies
on BluRay that I hadn’t had on BluRay that I just ordered on Amazon and they are MINORITY
REPORT and THE WIZARD OF OZ. THE WIZARD OF OZ is one of my favorite movies
of all time, it’s a classic. But I primarily got it because I wanted to
show it to my nieces and nephews…some day…if we’re all there for Christmas or something. I want to make sure that they see it. They probably will see it at some point. But just in case they hadn’t seen it or
if they have and it’s Christmas and we’re looking for something family friendly and
I wanted it on BluRay and I wanted it in the best quality possible and it’s timeless. It’s never going to not be great. So right there it’s a generational thing. I want to pass this on to the next generation. Now I don’t know how old they have to be
before I can show them GOODFELLAS or if they will ever like GOODFELLAS, but I would love
to see if they like GOODFELLAS or RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Film Courage: Sure. We will wait until college to show them. Daniel Calvisi: Yeah..maybe college.