Charlie Kaufman on writing and directing

CBC News (link via Bookninja) has an interview with Charlie Kaufman, in which he discusses the relationship between his work as a screenwriter and his new role as a director. Kaufman’s latest project, Synecdoche, New York, was originally intended to be another Kaufman / Spike Jonze collaboration, but Jonze had to step aside due to his commitments to work on Where the Wild Things Are.

In the interview, Kaufman discusses his fears that the experience of directing might re-shape how he approaches his writing, because he now knows more about the practical challenges faced by a director, and thus might choose to discard some ideas in a screenplay-in-progress out of fear they might be too impractical or expensive to actually film. I typically think of writing as being a process limited only by your own imagination and personal discipline—so I can imagine that it would be a little disorienting and frustrating, in creative terms, to suddenly find yourself limited by the constraints of the special effects budget or the number of hours of good light in a day.

In any case: this is definitely a film I’m eager to see.


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