July 29, 2015

Feeling Lucky? Part 2.

It was as if the air inside that unmarked radio car had been atmospherically electrified. Not unlike those few warning seconds described by victims of lightning […]
July 22, 2015

Feeling Lucky? Part 3.

It’s been a few years since that (gratefully) unfateful night we stumbled into an almost shootout at the New Wilmington Gardens in Compton. I thought I […]
July 15, 2015

It’s True. I Really Suck at Success.

I suppose I’ve had some career success. But I would know this only because every so often I am told so. Be it in the form […]
July 8, 2015

How Real is Your Bulls**t?

Hi. My name is Doug Richardson and I’m a bull-shitter. That said, I’m not just any kind of bull-shitter. I’m a professional bull-shitter. A bold statement? […]
May 13, 2015

Read Me and Weep, Part 1.

Writing screenplays has often been likened to a Cervantes-esque quest in which a phalanx of word wranglers wield their laptops like lances and bravely tilt themselves […]
May 13, 2015

Read Me and Weep, Part 2.

After years of screenwriting success, plus countless meetings, pitches, business meals, and studio drive-on passes scotch-taped to my car window, not-to-mention a mile high stack of […]
May 6, 2015

Rules of Attachment.

It’s said that you don’t get your picture made in Hollywood without having a star or two attached. The assumption is that there’s much less financial […]
April 29, 2015

Reality Check Please.

So I was buying a car last week. As many of you well know, it can be a bit of a grind. But there’s that swell […]
April 22, 2015

Killed by the Bell.

“Love what you’ve done so far,” says the studio executive. “Think we’re well down the road to a really great movie.” Translation? “We owe you for […]
April 15, 2015

The Big Deep.

Jaws. You know the movie. I sure as hell do. That hot summer it opened, my parents took my sisters and I to see it at […]
April 8, 2015

Quick Draw McFlaw.

It was a black tie event. Cocktails and formal wear with possibly a charity involved. I recall standing amongst some writing peers, one of whom was […]
April 1, 2015

Zero the Hero.

Question. What’s your score? You know. Movie wise. How many millions have your pictures made? How many viewers have you been able to rack up with […]
March 26, 2015

About a Boy.

It began with a computer game. Nothing like what we’re used to today. This was old school, PC stuff—a monochromatic, Peanuts-themed teaching program for kindergarten-aged children. […]
March 18, 2015

Dirty Work.

If you’re looking for a lesson this week, turn around and don’t look back. But if a laugh at my expense seems appealing, by all means […]
March 11, 2015

Swallow the Money.

If you’re on the outside looking in, showbiz can look like the land of luxe—a private club populated by only the rich and beautiful, not to […]
March 4, 2015

Hustle and Show.

This is about the difference between average and exceptional. What it is to be an afterthought versus someone unforgettable? In essence, I’m talking about the importance […]
February 25, 2015

The Sweet Stench of Success.

It’s funny how recall works. As I was sitting through the latter third of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, I was imagining how the Monday workweek […]
February 11, 2015

When Good Dialogue Goes Bad, Part 1.

One of the benefits of being a writer is having or developing an innate ability to turn a phrase when the moment comes. Oh, and we […]
February 11, 2015

When Good Dialogue Goes Bad, Part 2.

The handcuffs were snug, though not quite cutting into my wrists. And the backseat of the Redondo Beach PD cruiser smelled like funk. As I sat […]
February 4, 2015

My Inner Charlie Sheen.

Ego. Yeah, I’ve got one. And so do most of you if you’re reading this. Those who deign to put something down on paper with the […]
January 28, 2015

Whatcha Gonna Do?

I’m going to name names today. Primarily because I can’t tell this story any other way. It loses too much if I hide behind pseudonyms. Fade […]
January 21, 2015

Thick. Thicker. Thickest.

I’ve had some pretty harsh knocks. The New York Times once accused me of wasting two hours of the film reviewer’s time. Before I wrote Bad […]
January 14, 2015

When the Pen is Mightier than the Award.

If there ever was a post where I wanted to name names, it is this one. Only I shouldn’t because I’m repeating a story told to […]
January 7, 2015

The Fog at the End of the Tunnel.

So it’s a school day. My turn to drive. Kids are ready, pile into the jalopy, seat belts, music, and away we go. The drive is […]
November 19, 2014

Brick by F***ing Brick.

There’s a comment I often hear. It’s usually in response to a story I’ve told, relating some sort of showbiz battle I’ve won, lost, or merely […]
November 5, 2014

Location! Location! Location! Part 1.

A screenplay I penned attracted a director, a dashing fellow I’ll call Sir Ian. A tall, rugged dude enjoying some serious Hollywood upswing, Sir Ian was […]
November 5, 2014

Location! Location! Location! Part 2.

“Get your heads down!” warned the driver. After a night of illicit research in some of the darker corners of New York City, Sir Ian the […]
October 29, 2014

Gun Shot Residue.

The gang banger was coughing blood. His entire left side was stitched with AK-47 holes, from thigh to collar bone. “His lung is filling with blood,” […]
October 22, 2014

Lessons from the Limo.

“Mr. Cannell would like to take you to lunch,” said the experienced-sounding assistant over the phone. “How’s tomorrow sound?” “That works,” I said, “Where would he […]
October 15, 2014

Gonna Change My Life.

“In just three months my life is gonna change forever,” announced Hefty the Comic. Now, I call Hefty a comic because of the numerous times he […]
October 8, 2014

Bored in the U.S.A.

It happened on a recent weekend. I’d bragged to my son about my bad old days of movie geekdom. I recalled for him a time when […]
October 2, 2014

Most Powerful Man in Hollywood.

  It was a pro forma meeting. A meet-our-new-writer-client kind of sit-down. My new rep had called for a gathering of the entire lit department in […]
September 24, 2014

Guilty Conscience.

Here’s the scene. I’m in a New York City deli with my immediate family and a passel of soon-to-depart Irish relatives. I’m eating a meal of […]
September 17, 2014

Extra Credit.

It can be a battle for oxygen. The writer is in the room. The director is in the room. And sharing the precious air is that […]
September 10, 2014

The Pirate Movie Principle.

There’s an old kid’s joke that goes like this: You ask the child, “Hey. Did you hear what the pirate movie is rated?” And then when […]
September 3, 2014

Garbage In; Garbage Out.

Subject for your approval: Mr. Felton Farmer. This former big time TV exec-turned-producer thought himself to be a snob of sorts. Whilst he toiled in TV […]
August 13, 2014

What’s Your Number?

You’ve heard the terms to describe a certain type of person. All talk, no action. All sizzle, no steak. All foam, no beer. Or one of […]
August 6, 2014

The Three P’s.

My dad used to warn me. “Beware of the three P’s,” said my old man. “What’s that?” I asked, probably eight years old at the time. […]
July 30, 2014

Sam-I’m-the-Man, Part 1.

“You don’t get it!” shouted Sam-I’m-the-Man-I’m-the-Man, a TV producer. “I have a track record of creating big hit shows!” “You don’t have a track record,” I […]
July 24, 2014

Sam-I’m-the-Man, Part 2.

“How well do I know Sam?” I asked the Prez of King Kong Entertainment. “Have you worked with him before?” asked the Prez. I tried to […]
July 17, 2014

Red Lines and Popcorn.

It was around the time of last year’s Golden Globes when Dylan Farrow (daughter of Mia Farrow) went and stirred up some public stink around film […]
July 10, 2014

Yes, You Truly Suck.

It’s harsh but true. You suck. You’re not as good as you think you are. You lack talent, craft, and most importantly, good sense. Otherwise you’d […]
June 26, 2014

Chicken or the Egg?

It’s no secret the entertainment biz is rife with personalities. Big ones. Fast-talking. Recalcitrant. And quite a significant number that could best be described as having […]
June 18, 2014

Showbiz Hell is for Children.

I sat on the set in my designated director’s chair. Not directing, I might add. That’s just what they call those foldable high chairs with canvas […]
June 11, 2014

The Schneid, Part 1.

Are you off the schneid yet? Even better, do you even have a clue what the schneid is? It’s a sports riff often used to describe […]
June 4, 2014

The Schneid, Part 2.

After two directors, umpteenth screenplay drafts, financing snafus, and a location-crushing case of Montezuma’s Revenge, the studio had at last found both a director with staying […]
May 28, 2014


I’ve just moved. After twenty years in Casa de Die Hard, the War Department and I decided the time was ripe to shuffle the deck, setting […]
May 7, 2014

Residual Angst, Part 1.

Like so many things, this saga began with a phone call. This one came from a character actor pal. We’d worked on a couple of films […]