As part of our continuing 3Questions series, I present Doug Richardson, screenwriter of Die Hard 2, Bad Boys, and Hostage, (among others) and author of the novels Dark Horse and True Believers. As Doug puts it, "I'm an author/screenwriter. Which means when I'm fed up with Hollywood, I work on a book. So what I do depends very much on my mood. Presently, I'm promoting my most recent novel, The Safety Expert."
HBAD: How did you get your start?
DR: I got my start like anybody else interested in writing. I got behind my typewriter and wrote. And I did whatever I could to maximize my time at the keyboard. Write, get read, rewrite it, and move on. Eventually I got noticed.
To fill you in a little bit more, this is from Doug's bio: Doug left Northern California for Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema. For as long as he could remember, Doug had wanted to be a movie director. But in pursuing his goal he discovered how movies are really made: in the writing.
After finishing college, Doug signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. In 1989 he garnered national attention when his spec screenplay was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug’s first feature film, the sequel to Die Hard, Die Harder, was produced in 1990. He has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash Bad Boys and, most recently, Hostage. To date, Doug’s features have grossed over 800 million dollars worldwide.
HBAD: What are the most difficult challenges you've encountered on your career path?
DR: Other than the obvious and somewhat overwhelming competition in the screenwriting trade, I'd say it's keeping a moral center. Hollywood isn't a gentle place. Honesty is in short supply. It's very easy to become cynical in this town. Yet after a lot of years, I still believe in movies and their power to entertain, uplift, or transport. For me it's a healthy mix of cynicism and faith.
HBAD: What advice would you have for someone just starting out in this business, looking to break into representation?
DR: Simple. The road to success is paved with the bones of talented who've been run over by relentless people. If you don't find that fire in you to succeed, to put in an effort beyond everyone else who claims to want what you want, then you can't expect to ever arrive at your destination.