“Write What You Feel Like Writing”

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For the Believer, Lane Koivu interviews our fearless leader Stephen Elliott about, among other things, “the thrill of finding himself in the director’s chair, the time he nearly got locked up by a psychiatrist in San Francisco, and why he’s always in a race against his own enthusiasm.”

Here’s a little morsel of their wide-ranging and compelling conversation:

It’s not like I let everybody on set rewrite the script. But if an actor has ideas for their character I take them very seriously. And sometimes if I don’t agree with them, I’ll say, “Ok. We’ll shoot it your way, and then we’ll shoot it my way. And then I’ll figure it out in the edit.” And usually, I use the actor’s way.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →