Interview: The Oscar-Nominated Writers Behind The Disaster Artist (Part One)

Screenwriters Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter dig into details about the development and writing behind their Oscar-nominated comedy, The Disaster Artist.
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Screenwriters Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter dig into details about the development and writing behind their Oscar-nominated comedy, The Disaster Artist.

Screenwriting partners Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter are one of those classic overnight-success stories. For years, they wrote and pitched, kept writing, faced rejection after rejection, resisted giving in to easier paths, and then one day—overnight—they sold a project and were on their way. 500 Days of SummerThe Spectacular NowThe Fault in Our StarsPaper TownsOur Souls at Night, they co-created a TV series, they’re hired to rescue troubled scripts, and perhaps most enviable of all, they’ve reached the point at which producers and studios pursue them for projects. The team’s films have won critical praise, awards, adoring fans, and now Michael and Scott are up for an Oscar! And it’s for what is probably the oddest film they’ve written, The Disaster Artist—a tribute to “the best bad movie ever made.”

Michael is a graduate of Syracuse University, where I teach, and a friend, and I’ve met and like Scott. So, no question, I’m inclined to root for every film they make. But this article isn’t a critical review or some pop-culture analysis. Screenwriters need to know how projects get made and can benefit from learning how successful writers work, so that’s our focus here. And given that some readers might be more interested in one subject than the other, we’ll break this column into two parts: This article will describe how The Disaster Artistwas developed and the writers brought on board, and then in “Part Two,” to be published separately, we’ll dig into Michael and Scott’s creative approach to writing the script.

To start, a little background…

Read the full interview on Writer's Digest.