Hi Reddit, Andy Knauer here. I wrote The Last Stand, which is still in theaters! It is my first produced credit. It is Arnold Schwarzenegger's first staring role in nearly a decade and it's the first English language film by director Kim Ji-woon. Check out the red band trailer.

We're not doing well at the box office, but the reviews have been great and I'm very proud of the movie.

I co-wrote the independent film Ghost Team One which just premiered at the Slamdance film festival in Park City, Utah. You can see that trailer here.

Proof it's me: twitter

More proof

And because none of you know what I look like, here is an interview I did while wearing the same shirt

I'll be hanging out for the next couple hours. AMA!

EDIT: Looks like things are winding down so I'm going to step out for a bit, but I'll pop back in over the next few hours/ days in case anybody else wants to ama. I had fun. Thanks Reddit!

Comments: 174 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

mrgilbert12 karma

So not a question, but holy crap I wasn't aware you were the screenwriter on The Last Stand. Mazel tov, dude!

Knauer19 karma

Thanks! I guess my mrgilbert (my old roommate) hasn't looked at my facebook page in a while.

Shageen9 karma

No question just saying that I thought the movie was great. It hit all the right notes with action and a bit of comedy. It all really worked well and I've highly recommended it to people.

Knauer3 karma

That's what I'm talking about, Shageen!

chanticlear1078 karma

Where did you get the idea of the movie, 'The Last Stand'?

Knauer19 karma

I wanted to do a real honest to goodness action movie. That's always been my goal. This idea originated with an urban legend about a drug dealer who would drive a jet black sports car up and down the turnpike with no lights on. He would avoid the police by using night vision goggles to see. I always thought that was a cool image and that's what I started with.

n4lunaluz7 karma

Tell us what happened after you wrote the script. I have a feeling a lot of unproduced screenwriters finish a feature and then say, "Now what?"

Since this is your first produced credit, I'm interested in how you sold it.

Knauer8 karma

Once Lionsgate optioned it it was theirs to do what they wanted. They were in talks with Liam Neeson to star for a while, but obviously that didn't work out. About 23 months passed from the option to the green light. Multiple times during that period it looked like we might get shelved. All I could do was hope things worked out. Fortunately they did.

A lot of scripts get optioned or even purchased outright and for whatever reason they never see the light of day. It sucks, but that's the reality of the business.

hrpoodersmith6 karma

When did you intern at Lionsgate? I interned there summer of '09! That's nice to know that a you need is a little "in" and you can get your material read

Knauer9 karma

I was there in 2004/2005.

frafoa5 karma

Would you kindly describe the worst moment of your creative process? Sit in front of the empty pages for hours? Spend another few to fill it up? Delete them all in a sec?

Knauer4 karma

Ha. That's pretty close.

JewishMilkshake5 karma

Were there any changes in the final product that you were unhappy with?

Knauer6 karma

I could nit pick it to death, but I like having my hair and that's the kind of thing that causes it to fall out. I'm very pleased with the final product. I think Dir. Kim did a terrific job.

Sir_Auron5 karma

What's harder to write: jokes, action, romance, or scares?

Knauer4 karma

Jokes are tricky, sometimes they write themselves and they're great, but when they aren't flowing, jokes are the hardest thing to write.

Personally, I don't write romance. I only write romance when I'm told to do so in a note. Not because it's hard, but because everybody else on the planet writes romance.

It's hard to write scares. It's a lot harder to shock on the page than in the theater.

For me I'll rank it scares, jokes, action, romance.

doubbg5 karma

Why do you think The Last Stand did poorly at the box office? A lot of times you can tell whats going to be a hit or a dud well before it comes out, but I was honestly shocked by how The Last Stand did. It just seemed really unexpected.

Knauer11 karma

No clue. I was more shocked than anybody. We got better reviews than every movie that opened against us, better reviews than every movie that opened the week after us and better reviews than every movie that beat us with the exception of Zero Dark and Silver Linings which are fucking Oscar contenders.

Not to mention that we're a fun action movie. This isn't Tree of Life or something like that. I have no idea what happened.

BattleChimp4 karma

I haven't seen your movie yet but my father says it contains one of the funniest scenes/moments/jokes he's seen in years. He was very enthusiastic about it.

You've been asked if you had Arnold in mind while writing, but what about Knoxville?

Knauer6 karma

Your pops sounds like a smart man.

I didn't have Knoxville in mind, but when they told me they were casting him, I was like "yup, that works."

DownForWhatever4 karma


Knauer6 karma

There were other writers. With very few exceptions, every screenwriter gets rewritten a few times before a film gets made. Tarantino probably doesn't get rewritten, but I bet everybody else does. It's just how things work. As far as my involvement, I did two passes after my original draft was optioned. After that I was finished with the project and the other writers got to do their thing.

40_Degree_Day4 karma


Knauer9 karma

Thanks! I can't give too much info on my next project, but here is a little blurb about it.


NinjaDiscoJesus4 karma

How many scripts did you write before you sold one?

Knauer3 karma

About 20. Actually I think it was 18.

Aquazi3 karma

Your opinion on Academy Awards?

I'm pretty sure you already know about nominations, best lead/supporting male/female actor, best movie, best director, best original and not original screenplay?

edit: any chance to see your original screenplay on .pdf somewhere on the internet?

Knauer3 karma

I thought 2012 was a very strong year for movies actually. I thought the entire previous decade pretty much sucked so I it was a nice change of pace.

If it were up to me I'd give Zero Dark Thirty a slight nod over Lincoln for Best Picture. I liked Silver Linings and Promised Land a lot too. Honestly I thought there was a lot of good stuff this year.

I'd go Zero Dark for original screenplay and for best adapted screenplay, it's Lincoln all the way.

Aquazi2 karma


Knauer3 karma

I would go: Best Actress - Jessica Chastain Best Actor - Joaquin Phoenix Best Supporting Actress - Jacki Weaver supporting actor - Leonardo DiCaprio, but he wasn't nominated Katherin Bigelow for best director, but she wasn't nominated either.

Aquazi2 karma

You prefer Di Caprio over Waltz? I guess you have Django in mind.

Knauer3 karma

Yeah. I liked Django. I forgot to mention that one. I thought DiCap was terrific.

FalconPaunch3 karma

You seemed to focus on the cars a lot in the movie, am I wrong in assuming you're a big car guy?

Also, obvious question for sure, how is it working with Arnold?

No further questions, just wanted to say that this was an kickass movie, me and my friend saw it last night and since we were the only ones in the theater, we were yelling and freaking out in all the action scenes. So good work sir! :D

Knauer6 karma

Thanks for seeing it in the theater. I'm glad you liked it and I hope you'll tell a few friends about it.

In truth, I'm not a huge car guy. I like cars as much as the next guy, but I'm far from an expert. I drive a Saturn. It's a 4 cylinder. I did a little research for the script though and it did give me a new appreciation for cars and I totally get why some people just love cars.

And Arnold is the man. I got to meet him when I visited the set.

i_am_catbus3 karma

  1. How did you start off as a screenwriter? Did you go the short film route?
  2. How much did you make from The Last Stand? An approximate will do ;)
  3. How should a newbie screenwriter not living in LA approach big-time studios/directors/actors..?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Knauer4 karma

Generally I don't recommend doing anything that will cost you too much money. Short films fall into that category. I started off like everybody else, writing a bunch of stuff that nobody wanted to read.

I didn't make enough to buy a house in LA, but I did alright.

I don't know the best way to get your stuff to those people. I would recommend copyrighting the work you're happy with and then sending it to a few reputable screenwriting contests or diversity programs.

Good luck and keep writing!

i_am_catbus2 karma

Thanks again! I'm planning to watch The Last Stand - could I get back to you via email/twitter by any chance with a new bunch of questions? :)

Knauer3 karma

Sure. I'll do my best to answer what I can. But only if you promise to see the movie in the theater!

baccardo3 karma

How did you get an internship at Lionsgate if you don't mind me asking?

Knauer5 karma

I was in graduate school at the time and I wore my best suit to the interview.

skunker3 karma

What can you tell us about pitching? I saw here you were already friends with an exec at Lionsgate so that's how this script was sold, but have you had to pitch a script outside of that? What are your take-aways or nuggets of wisdom for all the wanna-bes out there?

Also, opinion on the tracking boards? Are they really heavily used or is that just BS?

Knauer4 karma

I've never sold anything off a pitch so I'm probably not the best person to ask. I've pitched a couple things. I don't really like pitching and I'm probably a below average "pitcher".

My only advice would be to pitch it like you're telling a story, don't summarize or describe what happens in the story, pitch the actual story. When you're pitching you're basically the movie, you have to be entertaining.

I never paid/ pay attention to tracking boards. They just make me angry.

Polite_Werewolf3 karma

If there was a zombie outbreak, what would be your zombie plan?

Knauer5 karma

Get to the high ground or someplace where you can see everything coming from every direction. I'm taking no prisoners. Survival is the name of the game. That means some innocent people have to get got because they are too slow or they look like a zombie or whatever then so be it.

I would try to get my hands on a back hoe or some construction equipment so I could make a moat. I'm a big fan of moats and I would definitely try to go the moat route.

Aquazi3 karma

How do you feel about Hollywood producing less movies every year?

Sodenbergh stated that the industry changed and so did the public (who changed the other one).

He ment that a person chooses to see a blockbuster action/superhero movie at the theater and chooses to see normal drama, westerns, biopics, ecc at home by downloading it or tv.

I feel tv movie producion and internet on demand or with adds will kill most of non-blockbuster movies.

I mean there is always space for some Black Swan or Wrestler or Gran Torino or Game Change or Hurt Locker in theathers but they all together can't even dream to look at The Avengers box office.

How you feel about that?

Are tv and internet slowly killing most of the industry as we know it?

Isn't there a lack overall of the movie culture we had back in 70's or 80's or we still have in ol' good europe where people dont feel theathers and movies just for entertaining?

Knauer4 karma

I don't know if TV and the internet are killing the film industry. It doesn't surprise me though. TVs are basically like theater screens now and the incentive to go to the theater is probably waning.

It's true that studios are making less movies now. I give Lionsgate a lot of credit for taking a risk on a movie like this one. We aren't a summer tent poll blockbuster and we aren't a small budget either. Unfortunately our box office performance has been lousy so The Last Stand may be the last time you see a mid-range budget for a long time and I think that's a terrible shame.

Aquazi2 karma

As an Italian, I can tell you that the marketing is pretty non existant.

I just knew about the movie switching tv channel yesterday and seeing Schwarzy answering some question to an italian journalist.

Meanwhile I've heard a lot of people talking about the next Die Hard thanks to teasers and trailers.

Marketing do a lot, maybe more than a good acting, direction and writing but I'm pretty sure you know about it more then me :)

Knauer4 karma

Die Hard è un franchise famoso quindi non è la stessa cosa. Abbiamo aperto ieri. Diffondere la parola per favore.

Aquazi2 karma

That google translate!

Knauer4 karma

Mia madre abita a Perugia. My Italian is ok.

i_am_catbus3 karma

Dumb question: do you get paid once your script is optioned? Or until the movie is made and released?

Knauer3 karma

Usually you get paid a small amount when they option the script. You don't get any real money until they decide to make it.

StoicRomance3 karma

At one point you have Johnny Knoxville climb a pole that falls over. It's a very Jackass moment. How hard was it to resist having him say "Welcome to Jackass" while up there?

Knauer10 karma

I wanted to have him take a nut shot and then say "don't worry, this happens to me from time to time."

missyface3 karma

I Loved the Last Stand! The flare gun scene made me cry I laughed so hard. Did you get to meed Arnold? How was it to work with him? How does it feel to know your movie brought him back to Hollywood where he belongs?

Knauer3 karma

I am honored that he chose my script as the vehicle for his comeback. The whole thing is kinda surreal.

franstoobnsf3 karma

Did you write this script specifically with Schwarzenegger in mind, or was it strictly the night vision goggles/black car thing?

Knauer3 karma

No. He was the Governor when I wrote it.

The movie has almost nothing to do with the urban legend I mentioned. That was kind of the kernel that grew into the idea. There is a fast car, it is black and there is a scene where he turns the lights off, but that's about where the similarities end.

mackdaddyjamal3 karma

How would you explain your writing process when it comes to developing a new screen play idea - especially when it comes to the nitty gritty of hammering it all down on paper? Do you outline it in the same way that Syd Field and Robert Mckee do with flashcards before you sit down to write it? Do you start with plot points and an ending to give the film it's shape or do you start with characters or a mixture of both?

Also, just want to note that I saw The Last Stand and adored it.

Knauer4 karma

Each one is different. Sometimes I beat it out. The thing I'm doing now has a 30+ outline. The outline for The Last Stand was about 3 pages.

I've tried the flashcard thing, I always wind up losing them. I just stick everything in a word doc.

winotaur3 karma

Who'd you rather work with in your next action star revival? Van Damme or Seagal? Be honest

Knauer4 karma


winotaur3 karma

yeah you seem like a jcvd guy, nothing wrong with that. he has more cinematic range than seagal, who i don't think ever had anything matching the love scene jcvd did in double impact that sent his twin, alex, off the deep end.

Knauer2 karma

No argument here.

IamTypingWithOneHand2 karma

You said that you wrote almost 20 scripts before selling The Last Stand.

By which script were you feeling confident in your writing and felt like you were at a professional level?

When did you start shopping your scripts and sending it to agents and producers?

Knauer4 karma

It's hard to say. At the time I wrote it, I would have told you my first script was at the professional level. I try to make every script better than the one before it, otherwise you don't grow as a writer. That's not always the case, but that's what I try to do.

I sent my first ever script to a screenplay contest. It made it to the final round and I won some screenwriting software that's probably obsolete by now.

NinjaDiscoJesus2 karma

Honestly - was your original draft better?

Knauer13 karma

Of course. That's why I wrote it that way.

naturalcauzes2 karma

Why isn't The Last Stand playing in Boston, at all, this week? Hurt my weekend.

Knauer3 karma

We were in 2900 theaters, but nobody went to see the movie. Now we're in 689 theaters. Next week we'll probably be in even less. Not sure what's going in Boston specifically, but when you lose 2200 theaters something's gotta give.

naturalcauzes2 karma

We planned to do a double header with Stallone's new movie, thinking Hollywood would be more merciful than to give a film less than two weeks. Guess they're not.

Follow up, unrelated: What's your opinion on John August's Courier Prime?

Knauer2 karma

I haven't tried it yet. I think it's free so I should probably download it. Honestly, I probably wouldn't even notice the difference. I tend to not notice stuff like that until somebody points it out.

silentk72 karma

Was The Last Stand the name of your screenplay or did they change it? If they changed it, what was your screenplay called originally?

Knauer3 karma

It was untitled until the day my manager sent it out. I kind of came up with Last Stand on the spot. I figured somebody would change it along the way, but that conversation never came up, at least not with me. I'm not in love with the title, but I can't say I dislike it either.

bentreflection2 karma

Is being a working screenwriter your end goal or do you foresee yourself being a director/producer at some point?

Knauer3 karma

I'm happy being a screenwriter for the time being.

mackdaddyjamal2 karma

When did you realize you wanted to write movies for a living?

Knauer4 karma

I was probably 15 or 16.

tylercomp2 karma

Do you read reviews of your movies? Also, I rarely hear about screen writers seem like directors get most the credit. Who do you feel has more creative control of a movie, director or screenwriter?

Knauer3 karma

I read a few.

The director definitely has the creative control. Screenwriters are pretty low on the totem pole, but that's par for the course. Everybody knows actors, people who follow the industry know directors, almost nobody knows screenwriters. I wasn't even invited to the press junket for my own movie. Nobody gives a shit about screenwriters and that's a shame.

There are probably 2 or 3 household name screenwriters who are known solely for being screenwriters - Aaron Sorkin, Diablo Cody... that's about it.

Television is different. Writer's have the control in TV, but in movies it's really not our show.

NinjaDiscoJesus2 karma

How did you go about getting an agent/manager when you started out?

Knauer4 karma

I made a good friendship with an exec at Lionsgate while I was an intern there. Every time I wrote a script I would send it to him, mainly to get feedback. He liked one of my scripts enough to pass it along to some managers.

NinjaDiscoJesus3 karma

So you really have to be in the LA area?

Knauer6 karma

It's really hard to break into this business. Being in LA helps, not much, but it does help.

gaussweiss2 karma

I'm not sure if you're the right person to ask this. The classic soviet "Chapayev" movie has a machine gun scene which is very similar to the Arnold and Johnnie machine gun scene. http://i.imgur.com/GiE2mWu.jpg

Is it related somehow, or was it a homage to some another movie?

Knauer4 karma

It was coincidental on my part. Great question though.

Aquazi2 karma

How long was your script?

How much action did you actually wrote?

How many rewrites you did?

How much Lionsgate involved you in rewriting?

How many times you get to rewrite others work?

Are writers and rewriters (or co writers) different roles?

Are there writers that do not rewrite others work, and rewriters that do not write anyhting on their own?

How many things have been changed by producer/director?

Have you ever been interested in directing?

Knauer2 karma

100 pages or so.

Most of it.

Very involved.

No times.

Yes. Co-writer can mean one of two things: A) you are part of a team or B) you didn't write enough to garner sole credit so you share it with one or more of the other writers.

There probably are, but most writers do both re-writes and original material.

Producers and directors change things all the time. Everybody has ideas on how to make a movie better.

I have thought about directing, but I just want to keep writing for the time being.

LazLawl2 karma

How long did it take to write the script? And how much did you edit when you found out who would be playing the characters?

Knauer5 karma

Because I was the first writer most of my work was done by the time the casting process began. I didn't get to modify the characters. Truthfully, with the exception of a few tweaks here and there, most of the characters are pretty true to how I wrote them.

chanticlear1072 karma

Was it fun working with Arnold?

Knauer2 karma

We didn't really work together, but I got to meet him and that was fun.

molrobocop3 karma

Did you get to have a stogie with him? That is one of my life's missions.

Knauer5 karma

No. I wish.

DetectiveJer2 karma

How long did it take you to write the script?

Knauer6 karma

I started it in August of 2009 and finished it in October. So about 3 months.

DetectiveJer4 karma

Great. Thank you. Any advice for a beginner screenwriter? I've been stuck on this script for a year and just have trouble staying motivated.

Knauer4 karma

The best advice I can give is to keep writing. Aside from time, it doesn't cost anything. You can do it from anywhere, all you need is a pencil.

When you get hung up on something you just have to power through it. Sometimes taking a break from it helps. Put it aside from a month or so. When you come back to it maybe you'll see something you were missing.

JayReel2 karma

Hello! I am an undergrad studying screenwriting in Chicago, striving to write both features and television. What's it like writing 18 or so scripts and not having them picked up time and time again? Did you have a job in-between having your first script bought? If so, was it in the industry doing coverage, etc? Basically, I am asking if I will be living in a cardboard box until I have some luck? Hopefully as much as you! Congratulations and thanks for this AMA.

Knauer5 karma

I spent three years working for a big hotshot manager. Mostly my job was writing coverage and running errands - washing my boss's car and that kind of thing. I had a master's degree and I was making 12 bucks an hour with no benefits. It wasn't my favorite time. But he fired me and I wrote The Last Stand while I was on unemployment. I got lucky. Most of my friends and classmates are still working their crappy jobs.

So yeah, it sucks, but I don't know how else to do it.

Mikeaz1232 karma

I enjoyed the movie. But I feel the problem I had with it was that it was a buddy cop movie rather than a bad ass action vehicle for Arnold. Was this ever an issue? Also the appearance of the Conan sword was awesome. Was that your inclusion?

Knauer2 karma

I hadn't heard it's a buddy cop movie until now, so no, I guess it wasn't an issue.

Foz902 karma


How many rewrites do you generally do on average per script before it's 'ready to go out'?

I know you've mentioned your Lionsgate connection helped but did you have an agent before that? Or did you get those once Lionsgate gave your script some traction?

Thanks in advance and congrats on having a film made!

Knauer2 karma

It really depends on the project and when it feels right. There's no real way to quantify that. You just have to know when it's ready.

I got my agent before I wrote TLS.

CairoSmith2 karma

Did you ever consider other kinds of writing? How do you feel about the screenwriting industry versus other fiction writing industries?

Knauer2 karma

I don't know too much about the business of fiction writing. I'd like to write a comic book, but I've never tried.

nickhanks2 karma

If you boil it down to steps, what is your process or methodology when writing a screenplay?

Knauer4 karma

It's hard to come up with an idea that I want to write, that I think will sell and that I think I can write well. Once I have that I'll get started breaking things down.

There a few things I like to know before I start writing: Who the characters are, why they do what they do. Obviously what the basic story is. Ideally I'll know the end before I start. Once I have all that stuff it starts get a little fuzzy as far as methodology goes. If I think it's going to be particularly difficult to get through I'll try to do more up front. More outlining, more brainstorming, etc. Sometimes I can just see how the whole thing needs to play out right away. That's rare, but when that happens I'll jump right in.

I definitely try to set aside a few hours every day to work. Some days I'll work for 10 hours and get nothing tangible done. Other days, I'll work for 10 minutes and have a break through. The more you write the more breakthroughs you get. That's really all there is to it.

vaclavhavelsmustache2 karma

Is it possible to be a successful screenwriter if you have no interest in producing or directing? It seems like every screenwriter out there has also produced/directed other projects, and I feel like it's a waste of time to write a script if I have no interest in being involved in the production.

Knauer2 karma

It's totally possible. Just going by the numbers it's easier to get work as a writer than it is land work as a director. Four writers worked on TLS, but there was only one director.

I think the reason it seems like this is because A) most people don't care about screenwriters. People don't see our faces. People don't know what work is our and what work is somebody else's and B) it's so hard to break into the industry even as a writer, that most writers try to direct or produce too. Whether it's their own stuff or someone else's because that's just another door that might open up.

That_Thing_2 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. I can't wait to see the movie now. Quick question my friend. What is your favorite part of screenwriting? Dialog, outlining, character creation, or something else?

Knauer2 karma

My favorite part is when I find something that works, no matter what that is. Whether if it's a line of dialogue, a plot point, a new take on something. When it clicks and you say "that works", that's my favorite part.

a_little_drunk2 karma

What is the single action revolver that Peter Stormare carries throughout the film? The Last Stand is too new for imfdb.org, and it's been bugging me, thanks.

Knauer3 karma

I don't know, but I sent an email to the producer because I'm curious myself.

RizzoFromDigg2 karma

How much technical research did you do into some of the sequences depicted in the film?

I don't know much about electromagnets or GPS or electronic surveillance, but in the theatre, I kept calling bullshit on things I saw on screen. Now I'm not an expert so I may simply be mistaken, but a lot of the major beats stretched my suspension of disbelief and the flick just lost me.

Drug Kingpin escapes with a big electromagnet, which grabs onto the guns of the guards inside the truck, but the henchman standing directly on top of the magnet is unaffected. Are they actually directional?

It seems like you would have to recognize a Corvette, even a crazy modified one, just by it's silhouette, but Forest Whitaker needs to ask the nerdy lab tech "What kind of car is that?!", can't he just say "Hey that's a crazy looking Corvette" and then your nerdy lab tech still gets to give them the rundown on the thing.

The car seemed to have a Satnav, which was on the whole time, shouldn't he have disabled it, or mentioned it's not working? You would think that's the first thing the FBI would try. OnStar can disable any GM vehicle remotely, they would probably know that too. It doesn't even mess with the plot, because nerdy lab tech can go "But this is a special show car so it doesn't work that way".

There were a lot of moments like this where I was expecting the script to address this stuff and then turn it around on us. And we just never got there. I would have expected someone to try and use spike strips only for your villain to have expected that too.

Knauer2 karma

Yes, magnets are directional.

It does seem like someone would be able recognize a corvette based on it's silhouette alone, but not everyone knows as much about cars as you. Some people don't even know that magnets are directional.

I'm not sure what part you're referring to with the satnav. To the best of my knowledge he wasn't using a GPS. He certainly wasn't using Onstar.

dethkarz2 karma

(Possible Spoilers in this comment) I thought this was an excellent movie, definitely one of the best I've seen in theaters. Just a quick question about the Corvette ZR1 that the main villain drives, in the movie they say it has over 1000hp and the bad guy seems to be driving full throttle most of the time, I would think a car rated at 1000hp would be out of gas at full throttle within an hour? And the movie never showed him stopping for gas and he made it nearly to the Mexican border from Las Vegas. The Bugatti Veyron (a super car with over 1000hp as well) drains its fuel tank in just under 13 minutes at full throttle. I'm not ragging on the movie I thought it was fucking great. Just something I noticed because I like cars.

Knauer5 karma

The route he takes is less than 300 miles. A standard ZR-1 gets about 21 mpg highway so that would be around a 15 gallon tank, but this is a modified ZR-1, so naturally the tank is much bigger.

[deleted]1 karma


Knauer2 karma

It's hard to be objective, but it's the exact type of movie I enjoy.

It's a really fun action movie that doesn't pull any punches. If I hadn't written it I would probably like it even more.

r_antrobus1 karma

Sorry, I cant get over the fact that you have the same name as one of characters in Herman Hesse's Demian.

But in all seriousness, do you think it's possible for a person to make a living out of writing in the world we live in today?

Knauer2 karma

I was unaware of the Herman Hesse connection. Now I have to read it. I think Knauer is a relatively common German last name. I know when I tried to register on twitter as Knauer, some German dude had already taken it.

It's definitely possible to make a living as a writer, but it sure seems like it's getting harder to do so every year. I heard a statistic once, I don't know how accurate it is, but supposedly there are more people making a living as NFL players than there are people making a living as screenwriters in Hollywood. I have to assume that includes practice squad guys, but still.

black_knight001 karma

more of a general question in regards to screenwriting (which i know nothing about) how does it differ from other forms of writing and composition (i.e. novels etc)? is there typically more descriptive elements to the scenes and the specific actions of the characters involved or can the script be pretty general and get more fleshed out once the movie begins production?

Knauer2 karma

They are really two different things. Primarily because a screenplay is not a final product. It is designed to play out on the screen, whereas literature plays out in the readers mind.

The basic difference between writing a screenplay and writing a piece of fiction is that you can't tell your reader anything in a screenplay you have to show it. For example I can't write something like "this was the third day he went to the station and yet again she wasn't there." In order for the audience to know he's gone to the station three times I have to be able to show it or have a character come right out and say it. All screenplays are written entirely in the present tense because they are meant to depict something that's currently happening. Even when you see a flashback in a movie, you are seeing it as it currently happens, you're just aware that it took place in the past.

The final shooting script is supposed to be just that, final. Obviously it's up to the director to decide how much he wants to vary from it, whether it's having the actors improv a scene or maybe change something on the fly, but generally speaking the director is supposed to shoot what's on the page. How he or she shoots it, is his or her choice. Writers are not supposed to specify what kind of shot they envision - close up, wide shot, low angle, etc. That is the director's job.

LeGeantVert1 karma

How come your movie is not out yet in DVD screener with the " for you consideration only " or for the awards watermark there is now on every new screener out there? Is it because it is not award worthy?

Knauer3 karma

The Last Stand is a 2013 release. Only films released in 2012 are eligible for this year's awards.

ChetRippo1 karma

How much of an inspiration on the film were my high school action blockbusters Last Stand and Last Stand 2 in your screenwriting process for the movie?

Knauer4 karma

I wasn't aware of this until today, but I plan on watching them when this AMA is over.

discogodfather69220 karma

As a ten year old, can you tell me how you wrote the screenplay? I mean between naps and playing outside... how did you find the time?

Knauer2 karma

Uh oh! Ladies and gentleman, we got a keyboard warrior!