Mario Puzo, the author of the Godfather books who’d also adapted them to film, had no idea what he was doing as he’d never written a screenplay before. After winning two Oscars, he decided to buy a book on screenwriting to learn how. In the first chapter, it said “Study Godfather I”.
Werner Herzog once promised fellow documentary maker Errol Morris that he would eat his shoe if Morris ever finished his movie on pet cemeteries, because he found Morris to be incapable of ever finishing his projects. In 1978 Morris finished his film, and Herzog publicly cooked and ate his shoe. Herzog also made a short film about eating his shoe. The name of the film is Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.
While researching for the film Cast Away, screenwriter William Broyles Jr. chose to strand himself for one week on an isolated beach in the Gulf of California to force himself to search for water and food and obtain his own shelter.
Ben Affleck dropped out of college after his creative writing teacher ridiculed an early draft of the Good Will Hunting screenplay.
The screenwriter for the movie “Cast Away” stranded himself on an island for research, and when a volleyball washed up on shore, it became the inspiration for “Wilson.”