Which famous screenwriters used unusual tricks to finish a script on time?

James Cameron was convinced he had found his Terminator when he met Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger wasn’t available for another nine months, as he was already committed to the sequel to Conan the Barbarian: Conan the Destroyer . He would have to wait…

With Terminator filming postponed, and with no time to squeeze another film in between, Cameron decided to take advantage of his enforced unemployment to write two films: Aliens (a personal project) and Rambo II (a commission). In addition to this, he wanted to rewrite several parts of Terminator , which he was not fully satisfied with.

To achieve the feat of completing the three scenarios in 9 months, Cameron followed a draconian discipline and an original method.

To begin with, he divided the number of pages to be written by the number of hours of work available. This gave him a daily goal to reach in order to be on target. And he had to stick to it.

Then he changed his pace of life, choosing to write at night, so as not to be disturbed.

Finally, he set up three different workstations at home, with three different desks. This allowed him to differentiate projects and move more quickly from one subject to another each time he changed desks.

The method worked, as he managed to come up with two original scripts and correct one in the space of 9 months.

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