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Apr 22, 2021

Josh Miller is a household name in the horror community, an American filmmaker, writer, director, and actor. Among other things, Josh created the Fox animated series Golan the Insatiable and wrote the script for Sonic the Hedgehog film, and is directing the cult horror-comedy Hey, Stop Stabbing Me! He is the co-host of The Greatest Movies Never Made podcast, along with Stephen Scarlata, which showcases some of the most interesting movies that never got to see the light of day.

I caught up with Josh to talk about his overall career, writing processes, and how he got to write an enormous studio picture like Sonic the Hedgehog on today's episode of The Nick Taylor Horror Show. Now please give it up for Josh Miller.

Here are some key takeaways from this conversation with Josh Miller.

 

  • Make something, anything. Josh's start came from having no contacts or footholds in the industry at all. Instead, he made a super low budget feature in college called Stop Stabbing Me, and regardless of how good it was, ultimately, it led him to get recognition which over time yielded his eventual career success. A lot of filmmakers get held up on perfectionism and waiting for the perfect project instead of just fucking making something. Yes, it's important that your name be synonymous with quality, but when you're just starting out, all producers really want to know is that you can finish something and release it. That alone will enable you to stand above seventy-five percent of the pack. So, in the words of Robert Rodriguez, keep making shit. You never know where it can lead.

 

  • Read good scripts and bad scripts. As a screenwriter, Josh reads a ton of scripts, and as important as seeking out good ones, it's almost as important to seek out bad scripts. A bad script allows you to have a higher level of consciousness about the pitfalls of screenwriting like lame dialogue, bad storytelling, lack of tension, etc. It's critical to identify these things so you can avoid them and the best way to do that is to get acquainted with what makes a bad script bad by reading bad scripts. So, next time you see a movie and realize it had a terrible script, find the screenplay, read it, and analyze for yourself what went wrong and what could have fixed it. I find journaling about what you don't like about movies and scripts to be a great way to avoid mistakes when it comes time to sit down to write.

 

  • Stick with it. Josh got to write the script for an epic production like Sonic the Hedgehog, but it came after years of trying to break through with multiple projects. Josh stayed the course, built his contacts, stayed on the radar of important people, and simply didn't give up for over ten years, and here he is. Of course, success like this is never guaranteed but, failure is once you throw in the towel. After writing Sonic, Josh is heralding Sonic 2 and...I don't want to start a rumor, but it's on Wikipedia, so I guess I can say it. It looks like Josh is penning the untitled Ace Venture sequel. Fingers crossed. In any event, Josh's story is similar to many directors' in how it's one of endurance and momentum. Keep at it, stay the course.  

 

Thank you for listening! Don't forget to subscribe. 

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