we came across an item in Publishers Weekly on an Emmy Award-winning motion
picture cameraman and director becoming an award-winning suspense novelist, we
thought this rather unusual fellow might bring a fresh eye (so to speak) to the
invited Thomas Kaufman to write an article for The Writer
about his development as a writer, and some of the similarities between the
challenges of filmmaking and fiction writing. (That’s Tom at left, at work with
a familiar-looking lady.) You can see the result in our July issue, which is
getting its first edit right about now.
Tom’s debut novel, Drink the Tea, won the Private Eye Writers of America best-first-novel award and a starred
review from Publishers Weekly. On the film side of things, he is a two-time
winner of the Gordon Parks Award for Cinematography, has contributed his work
to three Academy Award-nominated films, and has shot hundreds of documentary,
commercial and fiction films.
Much of his article is about the importance of
noticing, and using, tiny, but telling, details in both filmmaking and writing.
“Sometimes, when I’m on the road filming
a television show or commercial,” he reports, “I’ll see something or hear
someone and I’ll write it down. … I don’t know how I’ll use this scene, or that
scrap of information, or a gesture or attitude someone showed. But writing it
down makes it a part of my warehouse, the stuff I use when I write.”
We think you’ll find his article instructive.
--Ron Kovach, senior editor, The Writer