Doug Richardson is an American screenwriter known for his ability to write action movies. He first made an impression with his so-far unproduced spec script Hell Bent... and Back which sold for one million dollars. He wrote an adaptation of Walter Wager's novel 58 Minutes which became the basis for the sequel Die Hard 2. Other screenplays include Bad Boys and Hostage. His novels include Dark Horse and True Believers. He is the son of California Republican politician H. L. Richardson.
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Movies: Die Hard 2, Bad Boys, Money Train, Hostage
Books: The Safety Expert, Blood Money, True Believers, Dark Horse
Yes it's me. Here's a link to my official "reddit" tweet. https://twitter.com/byDougRich/status/591304408530550784
As an upcoming college graduate, how did you get into your line of work? And do you need any interns or proteges? I'm used to being poor, so I'll work for coffee and donuts.
There are no rules. Seriously. It helps that you love movies or television and can't write and tell stories. There's not much in the way of internships. It's all lot of trial and error and consuming whatever information you can get your hands on as to what it takes to break in. After that it's sheer will. Good luck.
Did you mean to say can't write?
Ah. CAN write. Spelling and grammar are clearly secondary.
Was there an event or person or maybe just an epiphany that inspired you to become a screenwriter/novelist? Why did you ultimately end up in writing?
It was more of a period in my life. Around the 13 when I discovered my father's Ian Fleming paperback collection and began consuming all things James Bond. I eventually morphed into a film geek. Then came film school and writing for films. From there began my affection for penning narrative. When directing opportunities presented themselves I chose to write my first novel. I haven't looked back since.
Proof that you are Doug, and not someone pretending to be Doug. See the sidebar for the IAMA rules on proof.
Got it. My wife and biz partner, the fabulous WAR DEPARTMENT just signed me up on this and forwarded me the link, where I've only replied. One of the proof suggestions is possibly a tweet. Which I will do now @bydougrich. Thanks cahaseler.
Great. You are good to go now. I've assigned you Author flair. Would you mind editing your text at the top and including a link to the tweet? That way people can be sure it's you.
Doug, what's your favourite cheese?
I pretty much loathe cheese unless it's on pizza or lightly sprinkled and melted on an enchilada. I spent an entire year working with a French director and his French production associates - all of whom insisted that I needed only to try the "right" cheese. They failed to convince me.
Hi Doug, I have a question, what advice would you give to other screenwriters who are interested in entering the industry?
I give loads advice in my weekly blogs, easily accessed at
Hey Doug, thanks for the AMA! I'm always interested to hear from people in various positions throughout the film industry. What are you working on currently?
Aside from managing some older movie and TV projects, I'm currently starting my sixth novel, tentatively titled THE LAST REAPER.
Hello Doug, hope your morning is going great.
My question is, as a successful screenwriter are there other specific screenwriters you're a huge fan of?
Is there a general consensus on who the best in the business are?
Thanks for doing this!
I'm a big fan of some obvious geniuses. Steve Zaillian is one that comes to mind. But my most recent faves are working in television. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould with Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Carlton Cuse with Bates Motel is a personal fave. So many many more.
As a writer, can you tell me why it takes George R.R. Martin so damn long to write a book?
I'm not familiar with Senor Martin's work habits. Has he slowed since GOT turned into a juggernaut? That might make for many explanations. But as a writer who has his own process, I can only speak for myself. And let me just say the fewer distractions the greater my output.
Why the AMA?
Why not? Besides screenwriting, I write crime thrillers and publish a weekly blog at dougrichardson.com. I'm always looking to expand my readership.
What was your favorite movie to work on? Did you work with the actors? Who was the best to work with?
That would be between Bad Boys and Hostage. Bad Boys was summer in Miami and utter chaos. Like writing it on Wed and shooting it on Thursday. Yet it somehow turned out. Hostage was swell because I had a wonderful working relationship with Florent Siri. As well there were some wonderful relationships and stories, some of which can be read about on my site.
Hey, love your work.
Can you give any advice to someone coming out of college with aspirations to write screenplays? How might someone get into the profession?
Just replied to that a couple of times. See above... or below. In addition, it's about writing and rewriting and getting read and repeat.
I'm the host of a movie-based podcast and it would be an honor and privilege to have you on the show. Would you be interested in providing a 20-30 min. interview for our show? You'd be a great addition to our growing list of guests that have worked in the film industry. I appreciate your time and look forward to the rest of your AMA. Thanks for being here!
If we can sync our schedules, not a problem. Please send me an email at email@example.com
What is your writing process? Do you stick to a strict schedule? Write on and off during the day? Do you have a page/word amount to complete each day?
I try to stick to a schedule. But I have children and meetings and such so it can sometimes be catch as catch can. If I can dedicate hours in the morning, I can pick up in bits and pieces as the day unfolds. When writing my books I don't like to write less than a thousand words in a day, six days a week. Screenwriting wise, no less than two pages depending on the demands of the gig. It can be up to ten on a production rewrite. It also helps to know the night before what I plan to write the next day. Thanks Jimmy.
What's your ringtone?
Thanks for doing this!
What is the worst studio note you've ever received?
Are you the genius behind the line, "Yippie ki aye, Mister Falcon!"
I've heard a lot of feature writers are desperately trying to get into television because that's where the good storytelling is. Thoughts/comments?
Generally speaking, are residuals enough to live on? As a writer how do you handle finances since it could be a long time between paychecks? Do you do a lot of script doctor work?
Lotta questions there Joe. But I'll try. Worst note ever was the subject of a blog I wrote. You can read it here http://www.dougrichardson.com/blog/the-worst-note-ever/. I did not write the worst ADR line ever. As for TV, without a doubt that's where the best work is being done. Thus the attraction for writers of all stripes. Including myself.
As for finances and residuals, that's too hard to answer based on everybody's finances aren't the same as well the size of their residual checks. Where you might be able to retire off the sole credit from Avatar, Welcome to Mooseport wouldn't pay much of my rent.
Hello Doug, given that you're a screenwriter, you're contributing to my favorite art form. So thanks! My question is, what were you revealing about bad guy's character at the beginning of Die Hard 2 when he's working out naked? Was this to make him seem sort of, "alien" in a way? Simple curiosity.
Col. Stuart's bare ass was an addition by Stephen D'Souza. I have no answer.
Hi Doug, I was just wondering if you could tell me how you got to the job you have now? If you went to college what did you major in?
Though I majored in cinema, my job as a writer of screenplays and novels is primarily dependent on how good I am. There is no pedigree required. Only hard work, a relentless drive to learn, and a really really thick skin.
What is the favourite movie you have directed?
Mr. MaplesyrupMan. I haven't directed any movies. I've only written them as well a bunch of novels. Check out my website