“Failure is a badge of honour; it means you risked failure. If you don’t risk failure you’re never going to do anything that’s different than what you’ve already done, or what somebody else has done.”
Charlie Kaufman is one of modern cinema’s most celebrated writers, with work including surreal fantasy Being John Malkovich, cerebral sci-fi Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, comedy-drama Adaptation and extraordinary animation Anomalisa.
In this lecture, hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in September 2011, Kaufman discusses the techniques of writing for the big screen.
“Say who you are, really say it in your life and in your work. Tell someone out there who is lost, someone not yet born, someone who won’t be born for 500 years. Your writing will be a record of your time. It can’t help but be that. But more importantly, if you’re honest about who you are, you’ll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognise him or herself in you and that will give them hope.”
A full transcript of Charlie Kaufman’s lecture is available from the BAFTA website.