Most days end feeling like you didn’t accomplish anything. And you’re not going to accomplish anything tomorrow. And you’re in big trouble cause you’re really stuck. That’s what most days are like for me. But what’s really happening is that during those frustrating days the thinking is going on, even if it doesn’t much feel like it.
— Aaron Sorkin on his writing process in a video interview with DP/30
Previously: Sorkin’s 88th best
Of the biggest hits of the last 15 years, every one of them looks bad on paper in some way.
— Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men, in an interview with Advertising Age
Ira Glass talks about Terry Gross’ interview style:
There’ve been times when I’ve relistened, just to hear the order of the questions and to figure out what was planned and unplanned. Like a magician sitting in on another guy’s act for two nights so he can figure out the trick, to steal it.
— Ira Glass (Terry Gross and the Art of Opening Up)
Just as food engineers have figured out how to make food hyper-palatable by manipulating fat, salt and sugar, similarly the media has become expert at making irresistible mental stimuli.
— Matthew Crawford (Distraction is a kind of obesity of the mind)
There’s a lot that happens with collaboration in movies and TV that is phenomenal. But at the same time, there’s some perfecting that goes with it. You all get together and work on stuff and make it perfect, but sometimes perfect looks the same as other perfect. [...] When you write from your gut and let the stuff stay flawed and don’t let anybody tell you to make it better, it can end up looking like nothing else.
— Louis C.K. in an interview with Pitchfork
You know the cliché: You’re out on the town, you’re doing drugs, you’re drinking, you’re running on the walls, you’re pissing on the fireplace. It’s a cliché. Often you run into artists who live that life—and at one point, you find out that they’re not actually producing that much art. They’re living the life of the artist without the work.
— Dorthe Nors in What Great Artists Need: Solitude
- Isaac: Someone holds the copyright to ‘Happy Birthday’?
- Dan: They’re representatives of Patty and Mildred Hill.
- Isaac: Took two people to write that song?
— From an episode of Sports Night
I have the same reaction whenever a musician is exposed for using ghostwriters.
It took seven years from the time I wrote Mad Men until it finally got on the screen. I lived every day with that script as if it were going to happen tomorrow. That’s the faith you have to have.
— Matthew Weiner in an excerpt from Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal
“When I wrote the pilot of Mad Men, I was saying, I’m already successful, why am I not happy?”
We have a paradox about progress: many people complain about how stuck in the past their organizations are, yet point to the lack of adoption of remote work as an indicator of it’s uselessnesses, rather than a reflection of their organization’s fearful grip on the status quo.
— Scott Berkun in his article Why Isn’t Remote Work More Popular?
Part of my testiness is that I feel I make 50 compromises a day. When people come to me and say, ‘Why can’t you compromise?’ I’m like: ‘What are you talking about? The fact that we’re having this conversation means that we’ve compromised.’
— David Fincher on dealing with movie executives in an interview with NY Times
Previously: “I guarantee I’m going to make a good movie out of this…”
- Paul: Between friends…
- C.J.: Yeah.
- Paul: Is the water over your head?
- C.J.: No. The water’s exactly at my head.
— From an episode of The West Wing