Denny Schnulo began his writing career at age eleven with the release of his first collection of poems to the kids on the school playground. Believing that first hand reports are always best, he spent his early adult years living and working throughout the world. His writing today is informed by people he met and things they did together. Follow Denny on Twitter: @DennySchnulo
Nobody Knows Anything (except William Goldman) is an upcoming documentary feature about two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter, bestselling novelist, non-fiction author and playwright William Goldman, the man behind unforgettable classics such as Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men, Marathon Man, Misery and The Princess Bride and Hollywood bible Adventures In The Screen Trade. Featuring rare footage of Bill revisiting his personal archives as well as verite, in-depth interviews and animated sequences depicting seminal moments in a groundbreaking career, tells the story of an “unexceptional” kid from Highland Park who defied expectations, broke all the rules, and became one of the most influential storytellers of our time.
Make a list of your all-time favorite films and I’ll bet one of William Goldman’s is on the list, more than one if you have good taste. Script recently caught up with Caroline Case, Director/Producer of Nobody Knows anything (except William Goldman) to talk about the upcoming documentary:
Script: For those who haven't seen your Kickstarter page why don't we start with an obvious question, why William Goldman and why now?
CC: Bill has never agreed to a documentary before and it’s overdue. He’s had an enormous impact. There isn't a screenwriter or showrunner today who hasn't been influenced directly or indirectly by William Goldman. He broke all the rules with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All The Presidents Men is still considered the best political thriller ever made. He practically invented the fractured fairy tale with The Princess Bride, he wrote literate thrillers like Marathon Man and gave us Adventures In The Screen Trade. He’s still quoted in the news every week; his dialogue is still borrowed by showrunners now. This year we saw his adaptation of Misery on Broadway and The Princess Bride is being adapted into a musical for Broadway. His work is pretty timeless.
Script: Mr. Goldman is a very private person yet he granted permission to film him fairly extensively, how long did it take for him and everyone else to get comfortable, and was there a trick to it?
CC: There’s no tricking Bill but there wasn’t much need for an attempt. He's great on camera, very charismatic and funny and candid. It helped that I've known him for a long time. And it was definitely better if shooting involved one of his favorite restaurants or the Knicks. His friends and family have been very generous and helpful also. When twenty-five busy people like Aaron Sorkin and Rob Reiner and Kathy Bates drop everything to give passionate, insightful interviews, you know it’s meaningful to a lot more people than you.
Script: Who scripted the film? What was it like presenting that script to William Goldman?
CC: The idea was to have this great storyteller narrate his own story. I narrowed the focus by prepping for his interviews and archive shoots but the scenes with friends and family were verite. There’s also an old world glamour to Bill’s New York and I wanted to capture that with him. You don’t see it much anymore. It’s swank.
Script: Is there a big reveal in the film, something we'll all be surprised by?
CC: I’ve read the books and I’ve known him for years and I was surprised by a number of things, so yes, I think it’s safe to say that there a few reveals. His personal archives span fifty years so even Bill was surprised by a few of those.
Script: Is this the first project you've crowdfunded? Good, bad, or just different?
CC: The show of support has been very heartening. The campaigning itself is pretty intense. We got lucky with a terrific crowdfunding consultant, Alyssa Spiller at Production For Use, and she’d kill me if I didn't urge your readers to visit our page to help us reach our Kickstarter goal. The producer Suzanne Weinert and I have never tried crowdfunding before, and I can't speak for her, but I still don't know what a hashtag is.
Script: I want to thank you for your time, and I'm certain plenty of people will find their way to the Kickstarter page and help you reach your goal... I'm going there right now.
Bonus -Bill’s Rule #1: Don't bore the audience.
Follow Caroline Case on Twitter: @goldmandoc