The craft of writing is all the stuff that you can learn through school; go to workshops and read books. Learn characterization, plot and dialogue and pacing and word choice and point of view. Then there's also the art of it which is sort of the unknown, the inspiration, the stuff that is noncerebral.
All athletes speak about the mental element of athletics, and it usually boils down to the same thing: if you can remove your ego from the game, you can function with much more clarity and you are more likely to succeed. Wouldn't it be interesting if we all began speaking about the mental element of our lives in this way?
I think the one that's going to be the hardest to make into a film is the one that's probably going to be made into a film, which is 'The Art of Racing in the Rain.' I mean, it's narrated by a dog. How do you do that? But hopefully we'll get to see.
Using a dog as a narrator has limitations and it has advantages. The limitations are that a dog cannot speak. A dog has no thumbs. A dog can't communicate his thoughts except with gestures.
I'm a writer because I love reading. I love the conversation between a reader and a writer, and that it all takes place in a book-sort of a neutral ground. A writer puts down the words, and a reader interprets the words, and every reader will read a book differently. I love that.
In documentary films, you're a storyteller using found objects. You still have to have a story arc and all the elements that make a good story. It really helped me mature as a storyteller.
Anyone who has a dog knows that they have some very deep thoughts, that they have moods and emotions, they get their feelings hurt. It's not a far reach to give them opinions and values and long-term desires.