Edward Pomerantz taught me screenwriting.
I took his workshop two or three times while working through the Creative Writing Program at Columbia University when I was there. Eddie helped me adapt my first published short story into what would become my first film, Over Easy. That film wouldn’t have been a success, and I may not have “caught the bug” after making it, if I didn’t spend an entire semester workshopping the adaptation with Eddie and my classmates. His passion for writing and, more than that, about authentic storytelling, is infectious. I was very glad that he agreed to come on the podcast.
This episode was a pleasure to record. Eddie has had a long and varied career as a screenwriter, novelist, playwright, and teacher. He also recently directed his first film, La Comida, which has so far played at four film festivals.
Topics we cover in the conversation include:
- The necessity of having a clear reason for telling each story you sit down to write
- The importance of only taking writing assignments you can make your own
- The parallel importance of not looking down at an assignment that can be made your own with a little thought and consideration
- Why Eddie believes Robert McKee ruined screenwriting
- The differences between writing something and directing something
- Listening to the needs of the story, rather than trying to force something to happen
- “Keeping the ball in the air” as long and as effectively as possible
- Bringing an element of danger into your work
- And much, much more
It’s basically a crash course in how to leave it all on the table, in service of whatever it is that your story needs. I hope you like the interview.
Please feel free to drop a note in the comments if you have anything to add, or have any follow-up questions you’d like to ask.
You can find more about Eddie at his site: http://edwardpomerantz.com/.
Coffee with Creatives is also available on iTunes.