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Matt Damon Can’t Say Whether He Or Ben Affleck Wrote More of the ‘Good Will Hunting’ Script — Here’s Why

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Good Will Hunting is universally recognized as one of the best films of the 1990s. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck started writing the script for the movie while Damon was attending Harvard University, and ended up selling it for $775,000. 

The film went on to become a critically acclaimed classic that earned several Academy Award nominations, winning the award for Best Original Screenplay. 

Both Damon and Affleck are credited with writing the film, but viewers often wonder which of them wrote more of the script. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t that simple. 

Matt Damon tells people he and Ben Affleck equally share screenwriting credit for ‘Good Will Hunting’ 

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Live By Night"

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Live By Night” | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Damon discussed the particulars of Good Will Hunting’s writing credits during a 2019 interview with The Off Camera Show, claiming that there was an even split. 

“People always say, ‘Well who wrote more of the screenplay? What did you write, and what did he write?’ And I go, ‘It’s just half,’” he said.

They wrote the script by having casual conversations with each other

Because Damon and Affleck used an unorthodox method to generate ideas for the screenplay, Damon always tells people that they both deserve equal credit. 

“I can’t remember the genesis of every line, because we both wrote every line,” he said. “It’s like, I’d say something, then he’d say something that would make me say something, that would make him say something. And then we’d both sit there for a minute and go, ‘Ha. That’s that line. 

Rather than sitting down with a pen and paper, the two had conversations about life and developed a screenplay from their thoughts. 

“A lot of the writing process, for me, was social,” he said. “It was sitting with somebody and doing this. Just shooting the s***. And trying to make him laugh. It was really fun.” 

Ben Affleck was sleeping on Matt Damon’s couch when they wrote the ‘Good Will Hunting’ script

Prior to the Good Will Hunting Script being sold, Affleck was basically homeless. Luckily, Damon managed to make some room for him on his couch. 

“When we sold that script, he had been engaged and that engagement had broken off,” Damon told Access. “And we had already signed a lease — me and another guy we went to high school with had signed a lease for a two-bedroom. So we were like, ‘Dude, we don’t have a place for you to stay, sorry.’ But he moved in with all his stuff, and so all of his stuff was in our living room and he slept on this couch,” he said.

Their living situation forced them to focus on the script

Affleck’s lack of a stable living situation might’ve been a blessing in disguise. Before long, the pair realized that they had to complete the script in order to find a more comfortable living situation. 

“The couch wasn’t a full-sized couch and he’s 6’4”, so I’d walk out every morning and see his legs dangling off the side,” Damon told Access. “And it was in that context that we sold the script. And I think we worked — like, we got really serious about it when we found ourselves living like that.”

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were able to get an apartment after they sold the ‘Good Will Hunting’ script

Once they finished the script, they were able to sell its rights to Castle Rock Entertainment and find a new apartment. However, they had to use an issue of Variety magazine to prove that they were going to have the cash to afford their new place. 

“We literally had such terrible credit, right? We either had no credit or bad credit, and there was no reason anybody would rent a nice place to us,” Damon said. “We didn’t have cash to show. So we walked around with this Variety article because they said, ‘These two idiots sold a script,’ and we were on the cover of Variety. And we were like, ‘Look that’s us!’ And that’s literally how we got a lease.” 

Damon and Affleck’s latest collaboration, The Last Duel, hits theaters in October. 

RELATED: The Only Reason Matt Damon Landed His 1-Line Role in ‘Mystic Pizza’ Over Ben Affleck Is Because He’s 2 Years Older

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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