Writer’s Desk: Do Your Research

During COVID, Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 pandemic thriller Contagion was a surprise streaming hit. That was likely due in large part to its writer Scott Z. Burns’ dedication to research. The movie felt like a kind of documentary all those years later for the simple fact that Burns surveyed all the infectious disease experts he could find and they told him what would happen when the next big pandemic inevitably hit.

Years earlier, Burns was working on Wonderland, Peter Berg’s short-lived series about a psychiatric hospital, when he found out how much loved doing research on the subject at Bellevue. This led to a revelation:

Research really is the solution to writer’s block. That if you just continue to dig into your subject matter, it’s eventually going to reveal some cool story to you…

Not sure what to write about? Start reading.

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