It was announced a while back that David Magee would be working on the script of the new Silver Chair film. In January 2013, he was interviewed by Tavis Smiley about one of his other projects, the highly acclaimed film adaptation of Life of Pi. Below are three interesting facts about Magee that shed light on his work as a screenwriter and give us a glimpse into what we can expect from him in The Silver Chair. The information and quotes below are taken from the inverview with Tavis Smiley.
1) He has written multiple movie adaptations of books before, including 2004’s Finding Neverland and 2012’s Life of Pi, both of which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Screen Play. His adaptation process starts with finding
one kernel of what this book means to you, what you want to focus on. Because a book can be 300, 500 pages, and it can explore a lot of things. But first of all you have to find that one notion, that one idea that excites you when you get up each morning to work on it.
He then grows the various themes needed in the film from that starting point.
2) He only accepts job offers from studios for movies he is passionate about and feels he can write a strong script for.
There has to be something that when I first read the material, or when I first heard it, I said, ‘Oh yes, I want that, I want to explore that idea,’ or ‘I want to show that to my kids,’ or ‘I’ve felt just like that’, or ‘That really moved me.’
Early in his career he once was pressured through flattery to accept a project he didn’t really feel, and from the disappointing result of that film he has now learned “to be polite, and say no.”
3) He knew he wanted to be a storyteller since he was a little kid. Whether it was watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, movies about high school romance, spiritual stories, or stories in particular historical or geographical settings; that world, the world of stories, enamored him.
Those things can really widen your view of the world… [Through the films I watched growing up] I learned about cultures, about people and places far away from me. I’ve always wanted to be a part of this.
See more of his eloquent interview here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/screenwriter-david-magee/