Mike White ’92: “There’s a point to procrastination”

[Mike White '92] By Caroline MacNeille '16

Screenwriter Mike White '92 swears that creativity looks a lot like sitting on the couch. In this "Academy Originals" video, the man behind School of Rock, Nacho Libre and The Good Girl gives us a glimpse of his two-part creative process:

"Creativity is so much more than making something," Mike says, sharing 5 tips that every screenwriter should know:

1. Procrastination can actually be productive: "There's two creative phases. One is kind of more an open phase, and one is more of a closed phase. And the open phase is when you're just kind of ingesting and taking in… You're impregnating your brain with an idea and it needs to gestate. It's like I'm waiting as long as I can before I start writing. On the outside, that looks like me sitting on my couch or watching TV or watching movies or reading books or walking around the neighborhood or picking my butt… It looks like I'm doing nothing."

2. But when the idea is fully formed, it's time to jump in: "The closed phase is like this is an idea and now I need to do it. It's like getting a fever, where you're like 'I am going to live and breathe this thing until it's done.'

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Image thumb: screenshot from video

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