By John King Tarpinian: Starting June 2 George Clayton Johnson will be giving FREE weekly writing classes at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights. These classes will be held at Mystery and Imagination, 238 N. Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203 (818-545-0206). (Click on thumbnail to see flyer.)
Just a partial list of George’s writing credits include the script for the original Ocean 11 (we are talking the Rat Pack). For the Twilight Zone he wrote A Game of Pool, The Four of Us Are Dying, Execution, A Penny for Your Thoughts, Ninety Years Without Slumbering, Nothing in the Dark and Kick the Can.
Nothing in the Dark starred a very young Robert Redford. Kick the Can was chosen by Steven Spielberg for his direction of The Twilight Zone movie. A Game of Pool starred Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters.
His The Demon God episode of Kung-Fu was the first flash forward episode in television.
George wrote the first aired episode of the original Star Trek, The Man Trap.
Lastly he co-wrote Logan’s Run with William F. Nolan. At the time, they were paid a record breaking sum for the script rights.
If you look up the word loquacious in the dictionary you’ll see George’s picture. Anybody interested in writing or the writing process should consider attending.
It never fails to amaze me to discover (once again) that something which has stuck in my mind for nearly half a century was written by George Clayton Johnson. The original script for OCEAN’S 11? “Kick the Can” I remembered, but “Nothing in the Dark”? I just talked extensively about that and how if affected me emotionally with my wife Nila the night before yesterday, in one of those middle-of-the-night conversations in which you bare your soul and your intimate fears, after seeing Redford on “COUNTDOWN with Keith Olbermann” and talking with her about his early career.
People look at George with the long hair and beard and the completely open manner and the rainbow vest and dismiss him as a hippie who stayed that way too long, like Tommy Chong’s character Leo on THAT ’70S SHOW. They don’t see the incredibly inventive mind or the empathy for the human condition which enables him to write so sublimely.
If I were still in Los Angeles, I’d be there with bells on, and feel privileged for it. Some people don’t know how lucky they are, to have such an opportunity.