A Script magazine interview with husband and wife screenwriting duo Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, whose movie credits include National Treasure and its sequel, Bad Boys 2, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, G-Force, The Shaggy Dog, and I Spy.
NM: How much research do you do when preparing to write a script? Do you travel, visit libraries, talk to people, buy books?
TW: We do lots of research. We buy tons of books on Amazon, we Google, we Wiki, but we hate to travel, so we use GoogleEarth and read reviews on TripAdvisor a lot…
Cormac is an avid reader. He’s usually reading three books and a couple scripts at any given moment.
Marianne is more ADHD. She’s an internet sleuth who’s more likely to have ten active windows open on her laptop than books.
NM: What’s your writing process like?
TW: We outline. We like (hate) to pitch because you can tell by the reactions of the people you’re pitching to what’s working and where your story needs more work.
We do like the post-its method. You can stick them to any wall. No corkboard required.
We also take long walks with our two rescue German Shepherds and discuss story or what we need to write in the next scene.
Cormac and Marianne Wibberley
NM: How do you approach rewrites?
TW: From the characters. We get so many scripts that are filled with plotty plots and no character. We always say that people will watch any story as long as they’re engaged with the hero. What’s the hero’s problem? What does he/she think s/he wants? What does s/he really need?
When you come into a pitch for a rewrite armed with this, it’s much better than coming in with the hero does this, and then that, and then this, and then that.
This holds for anything you’re working on, by the way.
For the rest of the interview, go here.