April 9, 2012

Dead on Arrival.

One July 4th weekend I was invited to join a small collection of William Morris lit agents who were planning to get independent down Texas way. […]
April 3, 2012

F-Bombs on Mom.

Here’s the scene. It was night on a cold and windswept mountaintop movie set. Writer and movie star had found shelter near the playback monitors. I […]
March 26, 2012

Rum, Guns and Cigars, Part 1.

I was briefly partnered in a producing agreement at Columbia/Tri-Star with Gary Foster (Sleepless in Seattle, Tin Cup), a man to whom I will forever owe […]
March 19, 2012

Rum, Guns and Cigars, Part 2.

“We don’t call our dear president Castro,” said Propaganda Tony, correcting me in front of the few assembled Communist party representatives. “We call him Fidel. Just […]
March 12, 2012

Rum, Guns and Cigars, Part 3.

It was an early Sunday morning and our last full day in Cuba. The Viva la Revolucion revelers of Carnival de Habana had long since packed […]
March 6, 2012

The Coolest Deed.

Way back when The Shawshank Redemption was barely hanging on in theaters, squeaking out some pretty meager box office, and still years before it was regarded […]
February 27, 2012

James Bond vs. My Big Fat Mouth.

I owe much to James Bond. Or to be more accurate, 007’s inventor, author Ian Fleming. I was twelve years old and not much of a […]
February 20, 2012


Just a few weeks ago I was guest-speaking to young screenwriters at an L.A. film school. It was a theater stuffed with young alert faces. The […]
February 13, 2012

Tony Scott, Me, and King Ding-a-ling.

I have this love/hate relationship with research. When it’s the kind of study that involves slogging through a million pages of crap to find that one […]
February 6, 2012

The Chicken Suit.

With your permission, let me set the scene. The place was a casual-styled conference room at a movie studio. The characters in the room were the […]
January 30, 2012

The Sh***iest Script Ever Written.

I was on my way from lunch to meeting at Paramount when my agent at the time called to inquire if I’d be interested in meeting […]
January 23, 2012

Dogfights and Rewrites with George Lucas.

Last weekend, the movie Red Tails opened nationwide to some pretty decent business. It was a long time in the making. And I’d noticed that a […]
January 9, 2012

My Tailhook with a Bond Girl, Part 1.

Saying showbiz is full of perks is like saying there are swamps full of alligators down in Florida. And by perks I’m not talking about the […]
January 9, 2012

My Tailhook with a Bond Girl, Part 2.

We’d survived our death-defying, two-whiffs-then-a-bulls-eye landing aboard the naval aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Nimitz. My comrades—former Bond Chick, saucy minx, and all around gamer, Serena Scott […]
January 2, 2012


I was in a meeting with a Dreamworks executive. Somehow we got sidetracked into the always entertaining subject of “the strangest place a writer tried to […]
December 19, 2011

Good Guys and Bad Boys.

I needed an ice pack. Without a warm up, I’d just tossed about what felt like a hundred fastballs to a Little League team I’d been […]
December 12, 2011

Membership has its Privileges.

Tis the Season in Tinselville. No. Not that season. I’m talking about Awards Season. Oscars. Globes. Spirits. You might think Hollywood is obsessed with such self-congratulatory […]
December 5, 2011

Live Free or Die of Pneumonia.

It was the day we burned the Hostage set. Bruce ambled onto the soundstage and dropped a script onto my lap. The title was DIE HARD […]
November 28, 2011

Send in the Clowns (But Beware of Their Funny Money).

It’s been wisely coined that nobody ever endeavors to make a bad movie. It’s also been said that as much or more effort goes into making […]
November 22, 2011

The Worst Note . . . Ever.

I can’t say this any simpler. This is about the worst script note I ever received. Was it an unfortunate situation to be in? Hardly. It […]
November 16, 2011

My Dirty Dance with Mel Gibson.

Having heard I play cards, this big-time talent agent at William Morris invited me to attend his invitee-only poker game. No. This is not the high […]
November 8, 2011

The Bulletproof Lie.

I’m a lying liar. I admit the lie and that I’ve been lying the lie for some years now. I feel the need to confess. So […]
November 2, 2011

Writer as Sacrificial Lamb aka Doug a la Carte.

Gary Ross, writer-director of films such as Seabiscuit and Pleasantville, invited me to join in a round-table luncheon with Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey. The congressman had […]
October 24, 2011

The Incredibly True Story of Die Hard 2 and the Uncashed Lottery Ticket.

I was actually hired to write DIE HARD 2 when the original DIE HARD was still in theaters.  Like the original, the sequel was to be […]
October 19, 2011

Die Hard, Joel Silver and the Five-Thousand-Dollar Couch.

This is one of my favorite Hollywood true stories.  It involves mega action producer, Joel Silver.  Now, like most power players, Joel has a rep.  Some […]