November 2018 – Read the best of Screenwriter Interviews

Interviews by Matthew Toffolo

Touch the link and read 22 different interviews with the best of new screenwriters from around the world.

Louric Rankine (SQUAD)
Interview with Screenwriter Louric Rankine (SQUAD)

Nicholas Julius (MYTHATANIA)
Interview with Screenwriter Nicholas Julius (MYTHATANIA)

Stephen Witty (WHITTAKER ALGER AND DICK)
Interview with Screenwriter Stephen Witty (Whittaker, Alger, and Dick)

Marc Gatschner (OF THE SEA)
Interview with Screenwriter Marc Gatschner (OF THE SEA)

Michael Preston (INHERIT-LY GAY)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael Preston (Inherit-ly Gay)

Alexander Stathis (HOMEFRONT)
Interview with Screenwriter Alexander Stathis (HOMEFRONT)

Joel Stern (THE WAITING ROOM)
Interview with Screenwriter Joel Stern (THE WAITING ROOM)

Chima Idigo (MEAT)
Interview with Screenwriter Chima Idigo (MEAT)

Anthony Cicchelli (MILE HIGH ROOM)
Interview with Screenwriter Anthony Cicchelli (MILE HIGH ROOM)

Karen Matthews (PANDORA)
Interview with Screenwriter Karen Matthews (PANDORA)

Suzanne Lutas (THE DEAD RINGER: THE GRAND JURY)
Interview with Screenwriter Suzanne Lutas (The Dead Ringer, The Grand Jury)

Brandon Gillum (CADENCE OF THE BATTLE CRY)
Interview with Screenwriter Brandon Gillum (CADENCE OF THE BATTLE CRY)

James Grayford (THE FRANCHISE)
Interview with Screenwriter James Grayford (THE FRANCHISE)

Joshua Ashburn (A BRIEF WORD ON HYPERSLEEP)
Interview with Screenwriter Joshua Ashburn (A Brief Word on Hypersleep Studies: Chiliagon)

Connie Corcoran Wilson (CONFESSIONS OF AN APOTEMNOPHILE: I THINK I AM)
Interview with Writer Connie (Corcoran) Wilson (CONFESSIONS OF AN APOTEMNOPHILE: I THINK I AM)

Michael De Sapio (INCREDIBLE LIFE OF JOEY COLETTA)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael De Sapio (Incredible Life of Joey Coletta)

Paul Watkins (KENOBI: A STAR WARS STORY)
Interview with Screenwriter Paul Watkins (Kenobi: A Star Wars Story)

Rodgers Wilson (ELLA WITNESSING)
Interview with Screenwriter Rodgers Wilson (ELLA, WITNESSING)

John Renney (THE CULTISTS)
Interview with Screenwriter John Renney (THE CULTISTS)

Isaac Sweeney (SHOOTING)
Interview with Screenwriter Isaac Sweeney (SHOOTING)

Peter Lloyd (STREET LAW)
Interview with Screenwriter Peter Lloyd (STREET LAW)

Michael Head (LIGHTKEEPERS)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael Head (LIGHTKEEPERS)

Writer’s confessions: 4 Struggles of the Part-Time Writer and 4 Solutions

by Kierston Drier

Anyone here a professional or aspiring-to-be professional writer? Regardless of your level of success, professional writer is likely working contract or freelance. An aspiring writer is likely writing on weekends in order to polish their work and get it noticed. Sound familiar? What do both of these people have in common? Both of them are probably writing in their down time- one to hone their skills and one to stay sharp.

Here are five common problems of the weekend writer, and 5 ways to fix them.

PROBLEM: Motivation.

Whether you just finished your last paid script or you’ve spent the last two
years at a 9-5 job, motivation (or lack thereof) affects us all. You may be too tired to write, you may have a hard time thinking of new ideas. You may just have low moral thinking about how difficult the industry can be.

solution.jpgSOLUTION: Remember What You Love.

Remind yourself why you started doing this in the first place. Remind yourself why you love writing, and what stories you want to tell. Go back through your work and read the pieces you are most proud of. This is your passion, and you have it in you to follow it.

Also remember: it is okay to take a night off. But don’t let a night off slip into two months off.

time.jpg2. PROBLEM: Time

We hate to overuse the reason, but it is true. Time constraints affect us all. Between work, our homes, our partners, our family responsibilities- some of us also juggle school or parenthood in the mix of that, our weekends are shorter than they use to be and our work days longer than ever before. When do you find the time?

SOLUTION: Rethink Your Time.

No. I’m going to say “Make time.” Everyone hears that. But frankly, unless you want to forgo sleep, “making time” can be as impossible and squeezing a wall clock to get extra minutes out of it. So rethink the time you have.

Working a 60 hour week? Jot down your plots, characters and ideas during your commute. Evenings loaded down with chores and various time-sucking responsibilities? Text yourself the joke you just thought, and use it for future reference.

Weekends loaded with social plans? Call your writers friends and turn your next night out into a writer’s night in- Make cocktails and bring your latest spec idea to the table- get feedback on it from the people who love you and share your passion.

Discouragement.jpg3. PROBLEM: Discouragement

Someone two years younger than you is already in a writers’ room. You career rudderless, financially treading water while other people seem to get what they want so easily. The story you’ve been working on just got made, and now you’re idea is worthless. It’s hard to stay upbeat when discouragement hits you.

SOLUTION: Reassess Your Goals.

Remember that success is not a party at the end of a long night. Success in the film and television industry is often more like a wheel that is forever rotating. Someone at the top today may not be tomorrow. Persistence, humility and hard work will take your farther than creeping someone else’s success ever will. Forget what other people are doing, and just do you.

Maybe it is something else getting you down? Maybe you’ve been nurturing a screenplay based on a historical figure, and just found out that same movie is coming out? Take some time to grieve, but then remember that you are not a one trick pony. If you want to tell stories for a living, remember that cranking out ideas is a part of that process. Find your passion for the next story you want to tell.

take risks4. PROBLEM: INSPIRATION
Okay, I have the time, the attitude, and the motivation- why don’t I have any ideas?!?!?! Someone tell me how to jumpstart my creativity!!

SOLUTION: GO OUT AND DO STUFF.

Great question, glad you asked. How do you jumpstart your inspiration for a piece? We often under-estimate that writing is very inclusive solitary work that frequently hauls us up in our rooms locked away from the world for hours at a time. How do you fix that? GO OUTSIDE.

If the best writing comes from real life, then writers must be students of life. It may seem counter-intuitive that in order to be a better writer you should…ahem…stop writing for a bit. Yet, this is a strategic choice. Go outside, meet people, do things, watch your favorite movies and TV shows with friends and family and talk about them. Go to mixers, go to film screenings, go to film festivals. Talk about the things you do and listen to other people. Ideas happen when life happens. So live your life, and ideas will follow.

Happy Birthday: Jill Soloway

jillsoloway.jpgJill Soloway

Born: September 26, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Married to:
Bruce Gilbert (2011 – present) (1 child)

When I write, I lose time. I’m happy in a way that I have a hard time finding in real life. The intimacy between my brain and my fingers and my computer. . . . Yet knowing that that intimacy will find an audience . . . It’s very satisfying. It’s like having the safety of being alone with the ego reward of being known.

 

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
FILM CONTESTSUBMIT your SHORT Film
Get it showcased at the FEEDBACK Festival
writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
Get full feedback! Winners get their novel made into a video!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your FEATURE Script
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Happy Birthday: David Benioff

davidbenioff.jpgDavid Benioff

Born: September 25, 1970 in New York City, New York, USA

Married to: Amanda Peet (30 September 2006 – present) (3 children)

[on the ‘Game of Thrones’ series] Wiser network heads might have said ‘You can’t kill Sean Bean nine episodes into your show’. Guess what? The lead dies. That’s why HBO is HBO. They break all the rules.

While working on Game of Thrones, he and co-creator D. B. Weiss worked all through the year, non stop. They would write an outline for each season and then started writing the actual scripts while managing production at the same time. The scripts had to be all done by the time they started filming the season, and as the large production it is they were filming for months with several units in several countries at the same time, while they did re-writings of parts of the scripts and made perfections. They also made sure there’s always a man from the writing crew at one of the filming units, to supervise. Almost immediately after finishing filming, they started writing the outline for the next season. At the same time, the previous season was in post production phases like editing and sound mixing, and they had to oversee all these procedures while writing, and later deal with marketing of the upcoming season as well. David and Dan would occasionally say in interviews that all they want to do once they finish with the show is to “get some sleep”.

 

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
FILM CONTESTSUBMIT your SHORT Film
Get it showcased at the FEEDBACK Festival
writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
Get full feedback! Winners get their novel made into a video!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

Happy Birthday:Marta Kauffman

martakauffman.jpgMarta Kauffman

Born: September 21, 1956

[on ‘Friends’] It was so surprising to us how invested the audience was in these characters, how desperately they wanted them to be happy, how putting them together made some kind of weird sense.

[when ‘Friends’ was canceled] We did not want to go out on the bottom. We wanted to feel more like it was time for your child to go to college, not die.

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
FILM CONTESTSUBMIT your SHORT Film
Get it showcased at the FEEDBACK Festival
writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
Get full feedback! Winners get their novel made into a video!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

Happy Birthday: Stephen King

stephenking.jpgStephen King

Born: September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine, USA

Married to: Tabitha King (2 January 1971 – present) (3 children)

Rob Reiner, who made Stand by Me (1986), is one of the bravest, smartest filmmakers I have ever met, and I’m proud of my association with him. I am also mused to note that the company Mr. Reiner formed following the success of “Stand By Me” is Castle Rock Productions . . . a name with which many of my longtime readers will be familiar.

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
FILM CONTESTSUBMIT your SHORT Film
Get it showcased at the FEEDBACK Festival
writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
Get full feedback! Winners get their novel made into a video!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

Happy Birthday: Agatha Christie (1890–1976)

agathachristieAgatha Christie (1890–1976)

Born: September 15, 1890 in Torquay, Devon, England, UK
Died: January 12, 1976 (age 85) in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England, UK

Married to: Max E.L. Mallowan (11 September 1930 – 12 January 1976) (her death)
Archibald Christie (24 December 1914 – 1928) (divorced) (1 child)

Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.

I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.