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David Poland

By David Poland

Press Release – WGA Noms

2010 Writers Guild Awards Screen Nominees Announced
LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK — The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen during the past year. Winners will be honored at the 2010 Writers Guild Awards held on Saturday, February 20, 2010, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.
(500) Days of Summer, Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber; Fox Searchlight
Avatar, Written by James Cameron; 20th Century Fox
The Hangover, Written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore; Warner Bros.
The Hurt Locker, Written by Mark Boal; Summit Entertainment
A Serious Man, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen; Focus Features
Crazy Heart, Screenplay by Scott Cooper; Based on the novel by Thomas Cobb; Fox Searchlight
Julie & Julia, Screenplay by Nora Ephron; Based on the books Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud

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18 Responses to “Press Release – WGA Noms”

  1. aris says:


  2. Aladdin Sane says:

    Star Trek? It’s entertaining and all…but really?

  3. Aladdin Sane says:

    And where’s Tarantino?!!!

  4. Rothchild says:

    QT’s not in the WGA.

  5. Aladdin Sane says:

    Oh. Any particular reason?

  6. Rob says:

    500 Days of Summer, huh? Yes, truly, the scene where Zooey and Joey take turns saying the word “penis” in public represented the finest in screenwriting craft this year.

  7. Dignan says:

    Is it any worse than “I see you” being inelegantly forced into the pop culture landscape?
    These nominations mean even less than usual this year as the Draconian WGA rules of eligibility have been enforced in such a way to punish a disproportionate number of small production companies that can’t afford to operate under WGA guidelines and reward big studio fair. How lovely that the same people who threw away months of work a couple years back to punish the studio system have now planted a big wet kiss on the cheek of those who used to (and no doubt still) screwed them out of their residuals.

  8. The InSneider says:

    Rob, I’ve played the Penis game before and it’s quite fun. You should pull the stick out of your ass and try it some time. Summer was wonderfully written and alongside The Hurt Locker, the most deserving screenplay on both lists.

  9. LYT says:

    I presume District 9 wasn’t eligible because none of the dialogue was actually scripted.
    Then again, Mike Leigh movies usually end up being ruled eligible. As for Anvil, is there a precedent for documentaries like that (i.e. without a Michael Moore-type narration) being nominated? Ditto Tyson, who presumably was not reading a script?

  10. storymark says:

    “I’ve played the Penis game before and it’s quite fun. ”
    Groovy for you, but how does that make it clever writing?

  11. David Poland says:

    I would guess D9 might not be WGA signatory, but improv has not stopped noms in the past.
    And yes, the screenplay category for docs has been a rat’s nest since they started it. The films they have nom’ed have been more and less scripted. IN this case, only the Moore doc is like a script that was made into a film… which is why it kinda sucks.

  12. Dignan says:

    Well, since you asked. It’s clever writing because it’s a game built entirely around testing boundaries and control. It’s establishing her as someone who isn’t confined by the rules of public decency as well as showing what her sense of humor is (which also speaks to her immaturity). She is amused that he becomes embarrassed by the end of the game indicating that she doesn’t take his feelings especially seriously. All of this is of a piece with their relationship and helps establish a patten of suspect behavior even before their eventual breakup.

  13. Rob says:

    Yes, Dignan, and that’s a deft feat of character development matched on pretty much any episode of Accidentally on Purpose. Next.

  14. christian says:

    Exactly, Rob.
    And how about that amazing STAR TREK structure where Kirk finds not only Spock, but Scotty, on a planet he’s been randomly sent to?

  15. storymark says:

    Well, there certainly is no excuse for Scotty being there. But Kirk and Spock were there for the same reason – it was the closest.

  16. storymark says:

    Dignan – Thanks, I wasn’t trying to be argumentative, just looking for more context than “it’s a real game”.

  17. leahnz says:

    wow, that avatar nom is going to have the naysayers who don’t know the difference between an actual screenplay and dialog spitting tacks

  18. Triple Option says:

    Considering the success of the film I can’t say I’m at all shocked Avatar got a Best Original Screenplay nomination. I am a bit surprised it wasn’t nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay considering how much of the story had been ripped off from every other movie ever shot since the dawn of time.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon