James Vanderbilt could be considered the “renegade” of The Amazing Spider Man (2012) screenwriting crew. He was part of a four man team, made up of seasoned professionals (i.e. Alvin Sargent) and the actual creator of the Spiderman series, Stan Lee.
To imagine the tension that Vanderbilt must’ve felt when entering this writing crew is inspiring. Vanderbilt’s career is only made up of a few movie scripts, none of which could match the grand scale of this entertainment-driven, action film.
It has been said that a person is only limited by their own fear. Vanderbilt could have easily choked on a project this big, falling into depression and self loathing as he tried to match horns with these big league players. But he didn’t. Whatever the method was that he used, it worked; and now his name can be seen as the first name on the film’s IMDB page.
Many screenwriters become writers because they do not want to face people. They would rather live in their fantasy worlds and create characters whom they enjoy seeing and experiencing something with. However, the film industry is a business and there will always come a time when a screenwriter must collaborate, join meetings and deal with difficult people. To build these skills early on is a diving board to success for any Hollywood-bound writer.
Alvin Sargent is considered one of the great veterans of the film industry, having had steady employment since he started working in Hollywood in the 1960’s. The latest film on his record, The Amazing Spider Man (2012) was a profound success in the box office and charmed audiences with a new depiction of the popularly known tale.
Working in a team of four, including creator Stan Lee, Sargent provided his own unique talents and script writing know-how to the tumultuous task of writing a Spiderman film that was fresh, new and original.
Working with a team of other writers can be a difficult task for any screenwriter to attempt, since the diverse backgrounds and styles can easily turn into a battle for power instead of a collaborative Eden of ideas.
However, the resulting film script ties together well and displays a humanitarian story of good vs. evil as well as the beauty of the human spirit.
Sargent’s experience and knowledge of script writing shows just how powerful time can be in developing a person’s writing ability. At 20 years old, a person may not be the best writer. However, if that person persists, the writing they do as a 30 year old (or older) may show just how much talent they have had all the while.