From a Huge Mess to a Proper Script

michael-clayton-poster"Every script is different, but I sort of have an accumulation stage where I gather lots and lots of material. And I sketch. And I make a huge, huge mess. A big compost pile of scenes and dialogue and research and this huge, huge, mess. And at a certain point, that's over. And then I try to write and outline very, very quickly. Really as quickly as I possibly can -- four days or a week or something -- that's almost every scene of the movie...Films are pretty brisk, it's a two-hour experience...There's sort of a pregnant moment where you can't accumulate and you can't waste time any more and it's finally [time to] do it...I try to rush through, scene by scene by scene. And then I'll take a long time turning that into a proper script...As I get rolling, I don't want to stop working. I go from not being able to work to not being able to stop working."

-- Tony Gilroy, writer and director of Michael Clayton, in conversation with Elvis Mitchell on The Treatment (2/6/08)

Tony Gilroy direction George Clooney in Michael Clayton