On The Field

“After I spent 2 1/2 hours laying on a stretcher, not being able to breathe, I thought to myself — what a waste. I’ve got a ton of money in the bank, I’ve got this hotshot job at DreamWorks and it’s all meaningless. I’ve just been living through my ego. From that minute, I promised myself that if I managed to survive, I’d live the life I wanted to live, not the way I thought other people wanted me to live.
“And however well I end up doing as a writer, whether I just eke out a living or win a bunch of awards someday, I’ll be happy because, to use the sports analogy, I’d feel like I left it on the field.” — Eagle Eye screenwriter Dan McDermott relating thoughts after almost dying from heart failure (caused by nitrogen poisoning from a scuba diving excursion), posted four days ago in Patrick Goldstein‘s “The Big Picture” bloggy-blog.

8 thoughts on “On The Field

  1. p.Vice on said:

    I’ve always wondered why people only seem to figure this out when they have a near-death experience.

  2. Well, p.Vice, it’s probably because most of us aren’t as in touch with reality and mortality as you clearly are. You came to Dan McDermott’s realization on your own, no doubt at a very young age, and God bless you for that! I assume you’re living your life accordingly. However, I dare to disagree with “Eagle Eye” screenwriter McDermott (did this happen before or after he wrote that screenplay, by the way?), in the sense that it really DOES pay to have WGA health insurance and enough cash on hand to afford the medical aid he obviously got. I would suggest that the Average Joe, bereft of health insurance, might be saddled for the rest of his life with the expenses Mr. McDermott incurred in hospital. Maybe I’m wrong. If so, I’ll admit it.

  3. Yes, Eagle Eye — the work of a man who has stripped materialism and ego from his being and immersed himself in the process of true artistic expression.
    His quest for meaning in now complete, and we honor him.

  4. You got my point backwards. In other words, maybe he said to hell with artistic integrity, it doesn’t do much for you when you’re dead. So make some money (Eagle Eye) and don’t feel bad about it.

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