David Seidler, Screenwriter, Speaks at Sun Valley Film Festival

David Seidler, Screenwriter, Speaks at Sun Valley Film Festival

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

When David Seidler gave his acceptance speech for his Academy Award for the King’s Speech in 2011, I made a promise to myself that if I could ever hear him speak in person, I would be in the audience. I thought I’d have to travel to England for that opportunity, but I had to travel only a few hours from my home in Meridian, Idaho, to Ketchum, home to the Sun Valley Film Festival and to Seidler.

David Seidler, Academy Award Winning screenwriter for The King’s Speech wowed the crowd at one of the free Coffee Talks at the Sun Valley Film Festival during the first week of March 2016. He had some advice for filmmakers and screenwriters and for life in general. “Don’t use up your writing energy working as a journalist or teaching. Learn a craft–become a plumber. Pace yourself. Don’t win an Oscar when you are too young.” At the age of 74, Seidler was the oldest winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The King’s Speech. A British-American, he related that he wrote to the Queen Mother to ask her permission to write the story about George VI, and she requested that he not do it in her lifetime. He had to wait 25 years until she died at 103. He shared some advice from Francis Ford Coppola. “‘Don’t start a script until you know the end.’ You need to know where you are going. You need to know the destination before you start a trip. Know where you are going and who you want to be. Keep in shape, floss twice a day and get out of the house and go to a gym.”

“Don’t get divorced. Keep your marriage whole. If you are going to get divorced do it quickly and do it when you’re young.” He noted a thing that agents are good for–they have a good information network and should be able to tell you if something is already in development. He shared some advice from George Bernard Shaw. “If you want to have a serious message, always have humor.”

Seidler pointed out that when doing a true story or biography you have to research your subject heavily. But “people don’t live life in a 3 act structure so you have to do modifications.” He does a lot of rewriting and writes every day. After an initial draft Seidler goes back 20 to 30 pages and rewrites. “Keep writing. It’s the only way to learn. The most important script you will write is the script of your life.”

<> on March 4, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
<> on March 4, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho with George Prentice of the Boise Weekly and David Seidler.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is an internationally-acclaimed recruiter, career coach and animation veteran (production manager on The Simpsons, ink and paint supervisor on Paramount's animated feature Bebe's Kids.) Pamela is a popular speaker at colleges, film festivals and entertainment industry conferences around the world.She has presented courses at SIGGRAPH in San Diego, Boston, and Los Angeles; was the commencement speaker at Art Institute of Tampa, and taught the Career Realities course at Gnomon School of Visual Effects.Pamela was named one of the Top Ten Recruiters by Animation Magazine and has worked with clients around the world such as Disney Feature Animation, Technicolor in Beijing, Framestore in London, and Lucas Animation in Singapore.She has written for over 80 publications including Computer Graphics, Animation Magazine, U.S. Art, Media History Digest, Apple Directions, Art Business News, Idaho Arts Quarterly, and Animation World Network.
Pamela Thompson
Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource