5 December 2012 10:58 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

"It starts with the script" is an old chestnut which just happens to be true. I get a kick out of talking to actors, directors and studio heads, but by far my favorite conversations are with such writers as Michael Arndt or Tony Kushner. These people are smart! Years ago after interviewing the Coens for "Raising Arizona," I abandoned my fledgling efforts at screenwriting. I could never be that good. One of the new tools in the Oscar campaign arsenal is the internet. Some studios are putting screenplays up online for easy reading access. You can check out at least ten of the competitors for original screenplay. Universal posts "This is 40" by Judd Apatow,  among others, while Sony Pictures Classics boasts "Amour" by Michael Haneke and "Smashed" by James Ponsoldt and Susan Burke, Lionsgate/Summit has "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky as well as "Arbitrage, »


- Anne Thompson

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