This month for The Creative Conversation I was very lucky to interview was the very charming, very loquacious BAFTA and AFI award winning sceenwriter Craig Pearce. Craig is the co-writer of Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and The Great Gatsby, and wrote on the film Charlie St Cloud. He is currently working on the musical adaptation of Strictly Ballroom as well as showrunning the new TV show Will, for US cable network Pivot, about the young William Shakespeare's life in Elizabethan England.
It was great to talk to Craig about his drama school days. Some of his most interesting advice on writing stems back to his work as an actor:
The process has of course evolved and grew up organically but it does stem back to our NIDA days and our actor training because the thing that you’re doing as an actor, you know, if you’re studying the Stanislavsky method is that you’re saying ‘What is my objective? What is my character trying to do? What does my character want? What’s the obstacle to them getting what they want? What actions are they going to play to get what they want? And that’s what makes drama and what makes a scene active. So you sort of do the same thing when you’re writing but you do it for all the characters, plus you think about the overarching themes and what you’re trying to say.
A 'best of' transcript is available here.