News from Lansing

Screenwriters for feature films sit at home for months and write lonely and alone in their hermitage – as I will soon do again for my major project “Aliens in Upper Bavaria“. It is therefore no wonder that these screenwriters often invent the characters of quirky loners who – how could it be otherwise – are screenwriters: Helmut Dietl’s “Rossini”, for example, tells the story of film producer Oskar Reiters, who, together with director Uhu Zigeuner, wants to film the latest novel by the great author Jakob Windisch, but who defends himself with his hands and feet. Windisch is legendary shy of humans, but his fate is that he leaves his hermitage every few days to be served pasta from the hands of the beautiful Serafina in a separate room of the title-giving Nobel Italian. The scene in which Reiter finally wins the fight and Windisch dictates the grotesque contractual conditions is – at least in the film industry – still a legend today. Another example of this genre is Charlie Kaufmann, played by Nicholas Cage in Spike Jonze’s magnificent film “Adaptation”. The real Charlie Kaufmann, who wrote the script, lets his alter ego in the film say at its deepest point: “I’m insane, I’ve written myself into my screenplay”, which his brother, also played by Nicholas Cage, finds quite cool: “I’m sure you had a good reason, Charles. You’re an artist.” A puzzle of reality and fiction that ends deadly for the character.

Writers of a daily are spared this fate. This is partly due to the extreme speed at which work is carried out here, and partly because they are not sitting alone in their hermitage, but because the process is extremely divided. Three independent teams of authors work on the scripts from the development of the ideas for the individual plots to the development of the finished dialogues. After writing a series of dialogue books and futures for the Bavarian Daily “Dahoam is Dahoam“, I am now part of the “middle team” for the first time in two weeks and am writing my first own outline. Friday was my first day from Monday on it goes full throttle on. It’s an incredibly beautiful job and the team I’m allowed to work in is extremely professional. I can’t tell you much, just this much: here nobody goes crazy and nobody gets killed. My episodes will be broadcast on Bayerischer Rundfunk in early December.

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