As a writer I’m fascinated by how others write scripts and their process. Below, I have listed my favorite quotes (or rather wisdom) from years of research studying the masters of cinema.

My ritual is, I never use a typewriter or computer. I just write it all by hand. It’s a ceremony. I go to a stationery store and buy a notebook  – and I don’t buy like 10. I just buy one and then fill it up. Then I buy a bunch of red felt pens and a bunch of black ones, and I’m like, ‘These are the pens I’m going to write Kill Bill with.

Quentin Tarantino

To me, movies and music go hand in hand. When I’m writing a script, one of the first things I do is find the music I’m going to play for the opening sequence.

Quentin Tarantino

Recommended Reading: The Script Quotes: A Masterclass in Screenwriting and Story

I’m always writing. A friend of mine once said, ‘You avoid re-writing by writing.’ Which is kind of a good point, because re-writing seems to be mostly about craft, and writing is just, like, getting out your passion on a piece of paper.

Cameron Crowe

Before I start the writing of the final script, I write and write and write books and nooks of notations They are very personal: dialogues and discussions and personal expressions and situations, memories, things that have nothing directly to do with the picture or with anybody but myself. It is very boring. I hate it. And afterward I throw everything away. But I boil all that down in the final script. I put all those things together as in a dream – so you don’t recognize anything. It’s always thousands of details, and these combinations are emotionally stimulating to my creative mind. From these combinations I build a selective reality, a mirrored reality. Suddenly it’s a newer reality.

Ingmar Bergman

Sometimes when I’m writing I’ll play Cole Porter, just because the rhythms and the lyrics are so perfect that it’s like having a smart partner in the room. I have a huge collection of music that I listen to when I’m writing, and I also prepare a lot of music before I start directing. I put it all onto an iPod that I have with me on the set. It’s helpful to the actors, because for an emotional scene, I’ll play it and say, this is how it feels, to keep us in the zone.

Nancy Meyers

I’ve found over the years that any momentary change stimulates a fresh burst of mental energy. So if I’m in this room and then I go into the other room, it helps me. If I go outside to the street, it’s a huge help. So I sometimes take extra showers. I’ll be down here [in the living room] at am impasse and what will help me is to go upstairs and take a shower. It breaks up everything an relaxes me. 

Woody Allen Quotes

Screenwriting is like ironing. You move forward a little bit and go back and smooth things out.

Paul Thomas Anderson

Always leave at the part you like so that you’re excited to come back to it. Don’t exhaust the good parts. Leave at a part when it’s going well.

Sofia Coppola

She makes the same mistake that most people make. They think the writing is the writing. As Marshall Brickman pointed out, the thinking is the writing; the writing is the writing down.

Woody Allen

I’ve always thought that incidents related will make a story, like the setting up of a pool game on a billiard table. Each ball is an incident in itself. One touches the other, you see. And the whole makes a triangle. I carry that image a great deal in my work.

Charlie Chaplin

If you want to make a feature film, you get ideas for 70 scenes. Put them on 3-by-5 cards. As soon as you have 70, you have a feature film.

David Lynch

Recommended Reading: Writing Quotes from Famous Authors

What’s Your Favorite Writing Process Quote?

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