Video: William Goldman

Last week Jack Brislee made reference to William Goldman breaking the rules.
Today we have the legend himself talking about the result of his rules smashing: $400,000, or a record fee for a single screenplay. That was forty-two years ago.

Goldman famously said “Nobody Knows Anything” and although there is some truth in this, it is not immediately the most helpful advice to any budding screenwriters. He succeeded in breaking the rules but every day a large proportion of failures can be explained because of exactly that.

Ultimately it is your call. See what you do with it.


With thanks to Louise Lee Mei and Adrian Kok. If you liked this, check out more videos about screenwriting or filmmaking. And if you know of a great video on Screenwriting, let us know in the comments. Thanks!


About the Author

Karel FG Segers

Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplayat age 17. Today he is a story analyst with experience in international acquisition, development and production. He co-wrote Danger Close, the biggest budget Australian film of the decade, and has trained and consulted all over the world, including award-winners and Academy Award nominees. Karel ranks among the most influential people for screenwriting on social media, and speaks a handful of European languages, which he is still trying to find a use for in his present hometown of Sydney, Australia

Comments 1

  1. Can we please, please, please stop talking about the rules of screenwriting. I’ll say this just once more.


    Hands up everyone who wants to become a professional screenwriter. If you just want to do it as a hobby, that’s fine, but it’s the people with their hands up I’m talking to.

    If you want to become a professional screenwriter, you must learn the techniques, and then demonstrate that you know the techniques in everything you write.

    William Goldman can write scripts in texta on toilet paper, and people in the industry will read them. This is because he has ALREADY DEMONSTRATED that he has mastered the techniques, and that the script is worth reading.

    If you or I write a script in texta on toilet paper, we aren’t announcing our rule-breaking, rebel status to the industry – we’re just announcing that we’re amateurs.

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