I'm watching the Sean Penn episode on the biography channel and he just said this amazing thing that really rang true for me, and yet again articulated why I think being a screenwriter might suck. Or at least be frustrating.
He was talking about his clashes with directors. And he said something like this: It's been a source of great frustration working with directors as an actor. A director who doesn't write his own material is confusing to me, because as an actor you question whether he should be the one to tell you how this story should be told. Why would his ideas be better than mine?
Okay, I'm going from memory of what Penn said, but it articulates really well the conflicting creative forces at work on a movie... And the screenwriter is typically the one who has the most knowledge of the story, but the one whose opinion is most ignored when it comes to actually making the movie. That's why I'm not sure I"d like to be a screenwriter (as if I could just snap my fingers and be one... ha!) Or why I'm pursuing writing novels vs screenplays when I'm so clearly a movie buff...
Oh, and some funny trivia about Sean Penn. He got fined (as did the hotel) for smoking during a press conference at last year's TIFF. I think he's back again this year. Will be interesting to see if he can keep from smoking this year.