Richard Linklater’s films are a sort of challenge to the film industry. His willingness to depart from traditional techniques and narratives and to do so in such a radically independent way have established him as a perfect of example of what independent filmmaking could be. Linklater is a totally self-taught screenwriter, director and producer and has won numerous awards for his films including several Austin Film Awards. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay twice, as well as awards at Cannes film festival and Independent Spirit.
His career began with a $3,000 super 8 feature called It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books but his first real fame came in 1993 with Dazed and Confused which also helped launch the career of a young Matthew McConaughey. The film followed the exploits of young people dealing with disaffection and apathy which became a recurring, prominent theme in his work.
With Waking Life Linklater brought the idea of lucid dreaming into prominence, and developed a rotoscoped animation technique he would later perfect in, A Scanner Darkly. A few years later, he experienced some mainstream success with School of Rock. In 2011 he worked with Jack Black a second time in the para-documentary Bernie which featured stellar performances by a cast of non-actors who had actually experienced the events of the film. In 2013 he completed his “Before” trilogy with Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke reprising his role from Before Sunset and Before Sunrise.
Linklater’s strength as a writer comes from his ability to capture the essence of people like him: artistic, alternative and hip kids with something to prove. His legacy as a filmmaker serves as a powerful testament to the potential of independent film, and the proper ways to go about making them. Here are some of his best scripts.
Robert Downey Jr. has had a roller coaster of a career ever since his breakthrough fame when he was a young man. Starring in great 80’s teen films such as Weird Science (1985) and Back to School (1986) gave him overnight success and put him in the crowd of powerful teen actors known as the “brat pack.”
However, the fame and success might have been too much for him as he slowly began to descend into a life of hedonism. He got in trouble with the law and even spent some time in jail during this bad period of his life.
Most people thought that he was going to be down forever and would not regain his stardom status, much like many actors of his time failed to do. However, the one thing that Downey had was talent, and it was up to him to decide when he was going to straighten out his life and fulfill his marvelous destiny.
He worked himself up through the ranks, sobered up off of drugs, and eventually landed the role that set his career off again in Iron Man (2008). Almost like déjà vu, he was an all star again. Women loved him and men respected him as he set off to regain his stardom and his regal status among movie goers.
The lesson that Downey’s life exclaims is the importance of seriousness when pursuing a career in the film industry. There are many people who come and go, believing the film industry to be nothing more than a society that caters to their every whim. In fact, it is a business and it requires the same determination, respect and consistency that any other field of work requires.
Conquer laziness and inconsistency, and you will find your path into the film industry.