Skip to main content

John August on the science of disciplined daydreaming

John August
Writer John August knows a few things about creativity. You'd have to in order to write scripts for nearly a half dozen Tim Burton films. August was the pen behind Burton's "Frankenweenie", "Corpse Bride", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Big Fish" and "Dark Shadows". 
So what's the secret? "Creativity is discovering what the interesting problems are and how you can solve them in a way that's really interesting for the people watching the story," August told us recently. 
The screenwriter who has also produced and directed films for both film and television said one of the techniques that works for him is to have good judgement about what to do with all the creativity that comes into his mind.
"Most of the writers I know [have] just too many ideas - really good ideas," he said, "and you're basically sifting through them figuring out which ones are worth your time."
Feeling intimidated? The writer of "Go", "Titan A.E." and two of the Charlies Angels films had this to say about the writing process, "A lot of screenwriting is really just disciplined daydreaming." So get disciplined, daydreamers.
For more original videos like this produced by the Academy, click here.