Writer/humanitarian John August accepts the Writers Guild’s Valentine Davies Award



to Damon Lindelof from john august re wga awards hey yeah so the Writers Guild is giving me the Valentine Davies award so honored they want someone awesome and fancy to hand me the award I asked my friend Ryan Reynolds but he's still not sure which co still be on for deadpool's opening weekend it occurs to me as i write this that you've actually known me longer than almost anyone else in town so would you be up for presenting it instead John so here I am presenting and I am equally honored because I couldn't think of a more deserving recipient of this award than my friend John that said I can't help but feel he is being deprived of the presentation that he deserves so what would his first and understandably more awesome and more fancy choice have said were he more sure of what Coast he'd be on for deadpool's opening weekend hi there I'm stunningly attractive movie star Ryan Reynolds did you know that I am the sole heir to the reynolds wrap aluminum foil fortune it's true would you be surprised to learn that I am America's favorite Ryan and that Gosling came in number 5 google it have you heard that the Super Bowl commercial featuring the town populated solely by multiple Ryan Reynolds's used no CGI and instead produce 34 clones of me and then upon the completion of principal photography donated those clones to Flint Michigan it's true did you listen to that podcast of this american life where i was walking down the street and a wrecking ball accidentally came swinging down and smashed into my abs but then the wrecking ball disintegrated into fucking dust and then the guy who owned the wrecking ball tried to sue me and I was like hey man not cool and then he was like i'll let it slide if you take a selfie with my daughter and you know what I'm married his daughter and we had a baby and that maybe just signed a 10 million dollar deal to be baby Deadpool look folks perhaps not all of those things are true but here's what is my friend John August is true a few years back John cast me in his directorial a directorial debut the nines and I was instantly realized he was a rare talent more importantly he was someone who cared about the world around him and when we were done with the movie John and I looked at a big map of Africa and asked where does nobody go it was sort of a mutual dare we kept expecting the other one to say no but we did go we went to Malawi and discovered an amazing charity friends of lon g orphans and since that time john has continued to raise funds for them working with NGOs even the State Department to get medicine schools to thousands of orphans John campaigned aggressively for marriage equality using his unique skill as a writer to frame and publicize the issue with intelligence and passion and grace he is here tonight with his husband Mike and daughter hey me and it is as a writer that John gives back most profoundly he's a mentor and advisor at the sundance screenwriting lab he sits on the wga negotiating committee and most notably he teaches not only by developing screenwriting apps but by co-hosting the immensely popular weekly podcast script notes with Craig Mazin yes an invaluable resource for new voices trying to break into our industry look I know what you're all wondering when am I going to take my shirt off well I'm not because this isn't about me it's about John the Valentine Davies award is given to a member of the guild whose contributions to the entertainment industry and the community at large have brought dignity and honor to writers everywhere and it's fitting that here on the eve of Valentine's Day we get to present that award to someone with an extraordinary amount of heart he is every coast I could ever want to be on and all the land in between ladies and gentlemen my friend John August thank you thank you very much I want to thank Damon Lindelof or Ryan Reynolds whoever that was my daughter's right there so thank you for all the f-bombs that's fantastic thank you for that sometimes people i will ask me how i have time to do the things that i do and the honest secret is that i don't write for television i see these people who write for television and you guys are writing scripts like i am but you're also like breaking stories in the room and you're in the edit and you are on set and wow that's just so much time and as a feature writer basically i have like two or three hours of work and then i'm just kind of cashed out and done so most of what I'm doing most what this award is for is sort of productive use of my free time so thank you for the productive use of free time award it's been awesome but I think this is about writing and it's about writers it's about what writers do writers are by our very nature curious about the world around us we are empathetic we can perceive what it would be like to be someone else and we're also imaginative we can think about the world not as it is but as it could be and that's how we write our stories but it's I think also how we can sort of change the world in subtle ways we don't look for the problems out there and look for ways to fix them so the small things like helping one writer figure out how to get started in her career or putting a case before the Supreme Court it's just the same process as writing it's about casting yourself as the rattan 'used in your life story and trying to earn that third act so for my story I'm very lucky to have some really wonderful characters around me there's the team I work with there's a string of really terrific assistants who are like much more successful than I am which is awesome and most of all there's Mike and Amy my family and I think Mike deserves special credit for he is the one who very consistently and gracefully but emphatically reminds me not to do television so that I will still have all those three hours in the day to do all the stuff that is tonight so I'd like to dedicate this award to the husbands and wives and families of all writers here in the room who make our crazy impossible lives possible thank you so very much

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