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Author Phillip Frey talks about a script writing job in Los Angeles and his daily routine and plans...

READERSVOICE.COM: What was the script about that you wrote in Los Angeles and how did it come to be produced?

PHILLIP FREY: I had been working freelance for producers, writing treatments (a one or two page quick outline of what the screenplay would be), doctoring (fixing dialogue, or whatever, on screenplays that were to be produced). I got these jobs because the producers liked my original screenplays, though were not interested in producing them.

One of these producers, William Panzer of Davis/Panzer Productions, had optioned a novel, King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry. It takes place in the 18th-century. It’s about a stable boy in Arabia. He cares for a horse that has come to be known today, in real life, as the Godolphin Arabian, the first thoroughbred racehorse. The film is about the stable boy transporting the horse from Arabia to England. It is a real adventure, in a Dickensian way.

Anyway, William Panzer gave me the adaptation job. I have sole screen credit. If you like, you can see a little more about it at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097668/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_1a

RV: What is your daily routine now and what are some of your plans?

PF: As for my routine:
A long time ago I took the advice of playwright Tennessee Williams and it’s worked for me. Set a daily start time, and then sit there, same time each and every day for a chosen number of hours. If nothing happens on paper during your set work time, it doesn’t matter. Just stare at the blank page, daydream about hot fudge sundaes, maybe even daydream about what you’re trying to say on paper. The important thing is not to get up and run from it. Whether or not a single word is written, the mind is still working. The writing hours are never wasted. Once you have a first sentence down, more will follow.

For Tennessee it was 4 hours; for me too, in the early morning, though I usually return later in the day to do some editing. I go to sleep very early and get up around 2:30 a.m. The reason I get up so early is because there are no interruptions—no one else is awake.

As for my plans:
Seems that fate has taken me in directions I had never imagined. This makes my future hard to say. For now, I plan to finish lengthening an 8,000 word short story that has already been published (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073IWJBU). It’s a
fantasy-comedy that I wrote just after I finished Dangerous Times. I think I needed to get psychopath Frank Moore out of my head and just have some plain old fun.

I recently completed a couple of more short stories, and I’m now working on a new one, while attempting to lengthening the above book.

To end this on an ironic note, I worked a couple of days on the Coen brothers new film, Hail Caesar! It’s a comedy starring George Clooney and Josh Brolin. How I got the part as a Roman slave is too long of a story. I hadn’t done any acting in decades. I would like you to know that George Clooney is an easy-going, no attitude guy. I had two personal encounters with him. Believe it or not, I made him laugh both times. Another wonderful experience in a long life of many roads.

– See phillipfrey.com for information on how to buy his books.
– copyright Simon Sandall.