The Process of the Epstein Brothers

“We worked only two hours a day,” Screenwriter Julius said of he and his identical twin brother Philip’s routine. The concept of concentrated brilliance was foreign to producer Jack Warner, who believed in a full day’s work – or at least a full day’s presence – for a full day’s pay.

“One day, we came in at 1:30 or 2:00 and Warner was furious. ‘Read your contract!,’ he said. ‘Bank presidents get in at 9:00 and you’re coming in the afternoon?!’ We had a half-finished script in our office and sent it to him and said, ‘Have the bank president finish the script.’

“A year or so later, we came in at 9:00 and sent him a scene. ‘The scene is terrible,’ he told us. Philip said to him, ‘How is it possible? It was written at 9:00.’

‘I want my money back!’ Warner yelled. My brother told him, ‘I’d love to give you your money back, but I just built a pool. If you’re ever in the neighborhood and feel like a swim…’

*Excerpted from Lax and Sperber’s Bogart