In the movie Seven Psychopaths, Colin Farrell plays Marty, an alcoholic screenwriter who is unable to write his next screenplay. All he has been able to come up with is a title: “Seven Psychopaths.” Fortunately he manages to meet seven real psychopaths in the subsequent 110 minutes, and in the process finds the inspiration to begin and complete his script.
Notwithstanding Marty’s eventual authorial success, I do not advocate this method of jump-starting your writing, because of all the blood, gunshot wounds, and mafia slayings involved. Marty’s best friend Billy, a nut job who is quite concerned about Marty’s drinking, becomes a collaborator on the screenplay, as does Christopher Walken. Despite their rather significant character anomalies, they do both manage to assist Marty with his tale. They are even gracious enough to live out the disturbing story.
This movie is not for the faint of heart or squeamish. It illustrates a path for improving writing productivity that, while effective, may not be palatable for the majority of writers. Happily the final scenes include a completed script and a produced movie, though Tom Waits provides a final twist that is not typically found in writing block movie finales.
Seven Psychopath screenwriter, Martin McDonagh, might be revealing things about his own writing process in this well-crafted movie about writing a screenplay about the movie you are seeing. Dark and funny, the film itself may inspire you to dust off that neglected screenplay and get cranking.