One of my bugaboos is how billboards for movies regularly say "From the director of..." Or "From the producer of..." Or sometimes even, "From the studio that brought up..." But I've never once seen one that says, "From the Writer of..."
Sometimes it might say, "From the Writer-Director of..." as if the writer alone isn't good enough. Or if it was the same writer and producer, it sometimes says, "From the creators of..." or "From the people who brought you..."
But not ever, "From the writer of..." Now, to be fair, maybe there have been some, but I've just never seen it. So, even if it's happened, it's incredibly rare. But as I said, I've never seen it.
This not only bothers me on a personal level being a writer, but as someone who used to be in marketing it bothers me because I find it inexplicable. First of all, I'd think that if you're trying to promote a movie, and the one thing you have going for it is that the screenwriter wrote some hit film...why on earth wouldn't you say it??! Why wouldn't you be thrilled to promote your film as "From the writer of Forrest Gump." Or "From the writer of The Kings Speech..." -- or Groundhog Day. Or whatever. I'd think that movie-goers who love a movie would be anxious to see another movie written by the same person. They buy books in series repeatedly, because they love the writer. Audiences know they're supposed to be impressed by The Director -- but most people don't have a clue what a director actually does. But they know writing. Yet film companies never promote their movies as "From the writer of..."
Yesterday, driving around town, I actually saw -- to my utter astonishment -- a billboard for the remake of The Gambler that says:
"From the writer of The Departed"
I almost drove off the road in shock. It's about time! (Not to drive off the road, of course. I mean...oh, you know what I mean.)
For the record, that writer is William Monahan.