Career Editing: 6 Songwriters Turned Screenwriters

Last week singer-songwriter and dubious indie sensation Lana Del Rey told Australian Vogue that film work is her "happy place" and that she plans to make the transition into writing for film and "stay there." Whether this means she will stop making music or not is anyone's guess and whether that's a good or bad thing rests on your appreciation of disastrous SNL performances. I'm not going to make that judgment here.

One of the main inspirations for being a songwriter in the first place is a desire to tell your story or the stories of others through the art of poetry and song. So it should come as no surprise that many of the great in musical minds who brought you epic tales through their soul-stirring ballads (and Lana Del Rey) would want to try their hand at writing stories in other forms as well. It should also come as no surprise that the people who have made this jump have had wildly divergent levels of success.

5. Nick Cave

Not only is Cave a prolific songwriter and novelist, he's written two feature films thus far, both critically acclaimed. In keeping with typical Nick Cave fare, they're also both westerns. One, The Proposition, came out in 2005. His most recent one, Lawless, is in theaters now. He also wrote that insane(ly awesome) rejected Gladiator 2 screenplay. Next up on Cave's agenda is a Crow remake. The mind boggles at what Cave might do with that concept.

4. Bob Dylan

You would think Bob would have stepped into the shoes of screenwriter a lot sooner and a lot more often considering his way with words and storytelling. Unfortunately, it seems that's just not something Bob can pull off. He's done it twice, both times to very little success. His 1978 film Renaldo and Clara, a mix of documentary, live footage, and bizarre fictional segments, was an incoherent mess that came in one of Dylan's "down" creative periods.

The second, his 2003 film Masked and Anonymous, co-written with Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Borat writer/director Larry Charles, was critically panned and criticized as a "vanity production beyond all reason" by Roger Ebert.

3. Ice Cube

Whenever somebody listens to Ice Cube, they usually think of three things: "It Was a Good Day,"Friday, and Are We There Yet? If they're anything like me, they also think of that horrible xXx sequel (xXx: State of the Union) he inexplicably starred in, because I love things that make absolutely no sense.

What few people think of is the fact that Ice Cube actually wrote Friday and its sequels, as well as The Player's Club and All About the Benjamins. There's something utterly bizarre about the fact that Ice Cube has written more, and more successful, films than Bob Dylan, but it's awesome as a useless trivia fact.

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MadMac topcommenter

I'm quick to call out folk for slamming article relevance on HP. Don't like the FREE entertainment? Go back to work. But this, "There's something utterly bizarre about the fact that Ice Cube has written more, and more successful, films than Bob Dylan, but it's awesome as a useless trivia fact." Has the author considered other endeavors that might interest him more? Because, from that line, this bit don't seem to be sufficient challenge to your skills or compelling enough to hold your imagination.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah topcommenter

Ray Wylie co-wrote and did some music for it... Then they took it out of his hands and messed it up. Titled "The Last Rites of Ransom Pride".


Hasn't Jessie Dayton started doing this?

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