Josh A. Cagan extended interview from Say Anything - TableTop ep 9

Uploaded by geekandsundry on Aug 9, 2012


I'm Josh A Cagan, and I am a screenwriter.
When I was in junior high, my family got a TRS-80 computer,
which was about the size of our kitchen.
I realized that as long as I was typing and making the
sound that a keyboard makes, I could write anything.
And that's when I started writing short stories and
monologues and poems and plays.
Off of that, ended up winning a state-wide play writing
competition and I felt like, this is
way better than homework.
I'll stick with this.
The first movie I ever sold, which became the film Band
Slam, but when I wrote it was called Will, I got the idea
for that originally from my favorite childhood book,
Charlotte's Web.
I'm a big pop culture nerd, so I tend to pull ideas from just
whatever I'm absorbing in front of the TV.
Things like that will make their way into my scripts.
The new thing I just sold a couple weeks ago, actually, is
a screenplay called The DUFF, and it is an adaptation of a
YA book, written by Kody Keplinger.
She wrote it when she was 17.
DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend.
Again, it's something as a larger, prouder, American,
certainly I have memories of out of my group of guy friends
being sort of like the dorky, fat, funny one and the guy who
never gets the girl and who's always buddies with the girls.
And then they go and date somebody else.
If I can't pull a piece of myself and put it in the thing
that I'm working on, then I don't want to work on it.
I write from a very personal place.
I don't feel the need to be like, man, but what this was
the awesome version of me?
I was never cool enough to hang out with the nerds, so I
just buried myself in my totally un-nerdy, cool,
Chekhov plays and stuff like that and Scenes For Young
Actors, Volume Two.
I did acting and I was in the drama club and I wrote plays
and I directed and I was like Max Fischer, only more
annoying and less talented.
Do I consider myself a nerd?
I do and I don't.
I think that nerd-dom is a big tent.
Not a science fiction guy, for the most part.
And, like I said, not a fantasy, not a D&D guy.
But the stuff I like, I really like it.
I think that's what it is.
I think if you can talk about something to an extent where
people's eyes begin to glaze over, then you are a nerd.
Gaming is all around us, man.
Life's a game.
Play it.