Writer, Los Angeles Film School, Taggart discussed on The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith
So sign up. And I'll see you at at the movies but now without any further ado. Let's jump right onto the stage at our sold out screening at the Los Angeles Film School Right After introduced screenwriter Christie Wilson Cairns to chat about her debut feature film nineteen. Seventeen it all right well so it's always good to start with breaking end stories and I I always. I always liked to do that. Add and I just wanted to know if this is true you you were possibly involved at one point with TV show Taggart yes correct. Yeah Yeah Ah I see involved. I was fourteen years old and I kept turning up on their say so I also that I was a nuisance to tagger. I believe is the technical legal term stalker soccer. Yes I stopped I stopped the TV show tanker the production of the TV show tiger. No I grew up in Glasgow and I loved film. I love TV. I was sort of obsessed obsessed with it but I had no idea got maids and then one day I walked by a film set and they were like and it looked like a you know what. She's like a bunch of trailers. It doesn't look like cool and glamorous whereas like what's that the only oh we're filming taggart and I was like can I watch and they just let me. I am much to their sort of liter. Regret because I turned up everyday day that summer. Hold the and then the next hold in the next one and the next one and then eventually they started peeing me because I think legally they had to were you were you. Did you have the film bug before you walked on their set by coincidence or I was I was always obsessed with movies but like out safes in like a weird kind of like I would watch the Matrix in pretend to be new not cool like oh I think I'll work in film and localism where you're saying that's not cool because I've done that so many times I've been told it's is not Kuhlman. Don't listen well so you also went to the Royal Conservatory of Scotland. As we sit here though Los Angeles film school what was something that was really piece of wisdom that was imparted to you. That stayed with you ever since what was what was kind of something to sum up your film school experience. I mean I went to film school. 'cause as I was like I want to learn highway to make films and actually the most important thing I learned at film school was why to me. I am and what films to meek and so a lot of my sort of aviation foam school was being forced to watch films that were out my comfort zone like films that I wouldn't have picked up in global video. I am because I'm not old example. Well I mean I would never have watched reeser hit all time favorites like it would never have been something that would appeal. healty young me I would have been crying. Baby no I am. If you took eraserhead for the baby in this film we really could have had a hell of a scene all right sorry going. You don't like my baby. We'll talk about all I know is not raiser head but I worked hard on that seat. It was good it was thank you thank you I am but yeah it was. It pushed me out of my comfort zone as a viewer. And then that informed me of my my film literature essentially involves your brain in different lean and by watching you know foreign films other films films outside Your Comfort Zone. Old Films. New Films Weird films bad films I think is very useful and that was a huge part of my education and not just. Hey this is a white bounce. I never get a camera but I knew white balances white balance is very important She'll so that's good so it exposed you to two levels of cinema and storytelling that you weren't previously familiar with which is which is something that is great that film schools can do. Yeah I think also the other thing which I loved it with home school and it. It wasn't just the Rose Coach Academy it was also the Nafta's where I did my masters afterwards was you were a bunch of people who loved film together for the first time. I wasn't the weird foam there. There was we were all weird Phil nerds and it's really lovely to be in that and and I have you know friendships and collaborators from film school. I still work with today. I am and like sometimes. You're the first people to Alpha just finished. The script is three. And my deadlines to DIS. Will you read it. Because I can trust their opinion. When did you start in the screenwriting path? Half that at what point did you realize that. Yes you know how to white balance. But you're not going to be a camera person but screenwriting appeal. You wasn't never gonNA be. Roger Deacons the greatest best. I mean he's quite good as an easy you know. It's pretty amazing. He's future that land us. Yeah I think so. I had an amazing screenwriting shooter and I never I never really when I was on tiger and they not ozone a few TV. She was a young child. Who was insurance risk? When I when when I would do that you know the script disappeared you I would? I never saw rates or so. I was with every department except the rating department because the were some mystical creatures that were fire off and so it never really a cartoon that that was a real job that someone sat down and was like this is what we're going to shoot. I am and then so I had an incredible shooter call Richard Smith who works here on 'em he was like. Oh I'm going to ask you to write a short story this weekend. It can be anything weird or the better can be could be something wherever ever Combined Monday with something just anthon two pages and I was like and I kinda thought it was like I was GonNa take the pestle out but with it because I was like. I'm just GONNA do some weird. And I wrote the studio to Guinea pigs plotting and assassination of their owner. 'cause I was pretty sure guinea pigs at the time. Were trying to kill me. I am and and so I wrote and I and I and I remember sitting into rating like Oh. I can't believe I have to do an. ACM film skill. I should be making stuff and then like two hours just just disappeared and I had had something and I was like holy crap. That was so much fun and I handed it into him and he was like. Oh you're good at this. Give me five more every week. He was like I won tain ideas. I want a short short film. I want this. I want that and he was very relentless in just making you rate and actually that's the only way to become a writer sister right lords and it can be crap at the beginning all whizzes and to keep going through it over and over exactly very shortly after you graduated film score just kind of giving people a baseline who your before we get to the film You wrote the script author and in two thousand. Fourteen wound up on the blacklist which opened a lot of doors for you. Give us the pitch on a because to my knowledge it is still not been made. Hopefully he'll not been one day. Give us give us the pitch. So I'm a big signs near an iphone does sewn dicky's like radiation. Some people might know this. But it has a half-life it disappears appears in the room and so I had this idea imagine a machine that could turn up every so that was ever in a room and so the story of ether as we use these machines to solve martyrs and you have to lesson two someone's murder over and over again to solve it becomes a very intimate relationship rather than he you turn off. CSI Miami and there's a whole date girl on the floor. You ought to listen to the whole gig girl girl dying I am and so it was just like a different we have getting into police procedural and it was quite weird quirky and has a lot of flaws as a script because it was the first thing I ever wrote and I was new. I am Evola for that script because it got me my job and penny dreadful and it got me like meetings Salmon Dr Noski. I know these like unbelievably fonsi directors. You John Logan of petty dreadful noticed either and you got a meeting with him. And you wound up in the writer's room on season three. Tell us just what was is your biggest lesson of being thrown into the fire on your first actual paid gig which is a dream for riders but could also be a health gape onto itself. You know I was really lucky. Lucky it was a very small writer's room it was it. Was Jon Morgan. It was Andrew Drakkar. WHO's an incredible theater writer? They know enemies and TV writer and meet with just the three of us and I think that sort of the ideal scenario regime. Because we weren't I didn't have to stop anyone to get an episode like we were all going to get an episode in the end actually Andrea. I route two. I am each because we just kind of go the gist of it but John was an incredible mentor. Like a really really giving very open and so he made it okay to feel and I think when you're trying to sort of do something different when you're trying to bring them we'll do something out your comfort knowing that it's okay to feel as is so important because how can you take risks. How can you how can you go for patches or mad and weird and different if your story that you're GonNa get Rian Lindell if you feel and so that to me? That was the most important lesson. Jason is actually give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to not right. The greatest for straffed ever knew into Martin. Because you're not gonNA and then you also wrote for the penny dreadful comics. Thanks for a while comic fan before that or was that yeah wear their sorry. I I could see anything you want to. It's just I tunes spotify the big fucking nerds course. I like what was it like writing for different medium like that was a while to get it because I I mean I had read Tacoma who am I always read can of late last night or Moser stuff like that and I. I wasn't really into kind of like Batman or or or Superman. I always served Kim slightly from the state and so do with penny dreadful trying to tail. We the first comics. Where actually the backstory that? You'd never seen before season one and two weeks we'd known a bunch of soy from join but it was that you're trying to make up stuff so you're like fighting pieces into a jigsaw puzzle. I am but it's in a way I think screenwriting should be very visual. I think your job as a writer of film or TV is an inherently visual medium. And if you can't read visually you need to reconsider your job or really work at it. I am and so to me rank only title. Ix was kind of very can to that it was off to the side slightly because you have to tell it in a different way but it's the same sort of muscles. There's there's are beautiful hand painted cover by the way of backstory magazine. Right there yes yes it's digital so you can have as many replicas you want to the boys and then I'm I'm very generous. All these issues I've procured justly printed out and hanging on your wall but so obviously you're in there. We also interviewed the two stars of the film and Lee Smith Your editor and we'll we'll talk about his job later. The hardest for this one shot movie that supposedly doesn't have at its but we fill them you guys know but Su- salmon is was a producer on penny dreadful and you and him as you told me for. The cover story tried to work together on two different projects that fell apart for two different reasons and finally the third time was a charm in which he called you up one day and realized rather than going after someone else's intellectual intellectual property he had an idea of his own to get from there. I guess I'm in my pajamas writing because writing is inherently glamorous. That's the uniform. And the the official uniform dissipate in the picture for you and I'm probably am eating junk starburst or something incredibly healthy one of my five day for sure and then in my phone rings and Sam Mendes named scrolls across it so I answered in frustration. Because it's Mendes answer him on the first ring and I was like a high and he was like okay. I have this idea..