Tom Welles: Why would Christian want this? Why would he want a film of a... a little girl being butchered?
Daniel Longdale: Because he could.
Tom Welles: If someone never saw or sold a snuff film, they shouldn't give a damn what I ask about it, if they have they got a right to be nervous.
Donald Kaufman: Anyway, listen, I meant to ask you, I need a cool way to kill people. Don't worry, for my script.
Charlie Kaufman: I don't write that kind of stuff.
Donald Kaufman: Oh, come on, man, please? You're the genius.
Charlie Kaufman: Here you go. The killer's a literature professor. He cuts off little chunks from his victims' bodies until they die. He calls himself "the deconstructionist."
Charlie Kaufman: ...But a little fantastic and fleeting and out of reach.
Robert McKee: Then what happens?
Charlie Kaufman: That's the end of the book. I wanted to present it simply without big character arcs or sensationalizing the story. I wanted to show flowers as God's miracles. I wanted to show that Orlean never saw the blooming ghost orchid. It was about disappointment.
Charlie Kaufman: To begin... To begin... How to start? I'm hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That's a good muffin.
Charlie Kaufman: My leg hurts, I wonder if it's cancer? There's a bump. I'm starting to sweat. Stop sweating. I've got to stop sweating. Can she see it dripping down my forehead? She looked at my hair line. She thinks I'm bald. She.
Valerie Thomas: We think you're great.
Charlie Kaufman: Oh, wow, thanks. Well, that's nice to hear.
Donald Kaufman: Charles, you'll be glad. I have a plan to get me out of your house, pronto.
Charlie Kaufman: A job is a plan. Is your plan a job?
Donald Kaufman: Drum roll, please. I'm gonna be a screenwriter. Like you.
Donald Kaufman: I'm putting in a chase sequence. So the killer flees on horseback with the girl, the cop's after them on a motorcycle and it's like a battle between motors and horses, like technology vs. Horse.
Charlie Kaufman: And they're still all one person, right?
Charlie Kaufman: The script I'm starting, it's about flowers. Nobody's ever done a movie about flowers before. So, so there are no guidelines.
Donald Kaufman: What about "Flowers for Algernon"?
Charlie Kaufman: Well, that's not about flowers. And it's not a movie.
Donald Kaufman: Ok, I'm sorry, I never saw it.
Charlie Kaufman: There are no rules, Donald. And anyone who says there are is just, you know.
Donald Kaufman: Not rules, principles. McKee writes that a rule says you must do it this way. A principle says, this works and has through all remembered time.
Charlie Kaufman: We open on Charlie Kaufman. Fat, old, bald, repulsive, sitting in a Hollywood restaurant, across from Valerie Thomas, a lovely, statuesque film executive. Kaufman, trying to get a writing assignment, wanting to impress her, sweats profusely. Fat, bald Kaufman paces furiously in his bedroom. He speaks into his hand held tape recorder, and he says: "Charlie Kaufman. Fat, bald, repulsive, old, sits at a Hollywood restaurant with Valerie Thomas."