Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
I am from Toronto, Ontario Canada.
Your script stood out among hundreds of others. What was the inspiration for your story and why did you write a script instead of a short story or a novel?
The Iraq war like many has caused so many deaths both during and after war. The theme of suicide and PTSD really stood out for me when I read a news article about a year ago showcasing the number of individuals impacted by suicide.
Since I’ve spent the last several years trying to build my screenplay portfolio, I thought it would be a good way to share my story, the battle for soldiers, and the horrific impact war has on everyone.
How long did it take you to write your script...and what is your writing process? Do you outline...use index cards...white board...or just start with FADE IN?
Originally, I wrote this as a 26-page short with multiple characters and an Antagonist within about 1 month. However, realizing it was not budget friendly for a short film I trimmed it down within a few days.
I always think of the story, main character, beginning and end. Then I start outlining. Building back stories for all my characters. I place blank sheets of paper all over my wall with scenes, order, often dialogue included. Of course, things get changed around, but I follow a similar process each time.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
Since I was a kid, I always envisioned hearing… “And the Oscar goes to…” But the truth is I would like to work in the industry and be able to see my scripts come to life on screen.
This may impede my chances; however, I’ve had Parkinson’s disease since my early 20s. It’s something that empowers me to persevere through and continue breaking down barriers of stigmas to show individuals that anyone can still accomplish things regardless of their current situation.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
The story could have gone from a 26-page short to a 100 – 120-page feature. I just felt a shorter 6 page script would still have a powerful impact on the horrors of war.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
Good Will Hunting. The writing stood out even after watching it when I was 11 years old. The film goes deep into the depths of human suffering, how we can recover from traumas, and that the most unexpected human beings can be discovered in some of the worst conditions.
The park bench monologue that Robin Williams character, Dr. Sean Maguire delivers, is still one of the most spine tingling and brilliantly acted/written scenes I’ve ever seen. Not to mention, it made me fall in love with doing the Boston accent.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Keep grinding away it. I’ve entered many contests over the years, submitted scripts/synopsis to agencies, felt the discouragement of rejection, wanted to quit. Yet I keep writing because I love it.
There is no greater passion for me, and I know many writers feel the same way. So, when the mind says stop, let the heart take over and guide you back to the screen and keyboard.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
My passion project that is being polished is about a diamond heist in a small Nebraska town. Snatch meets Fargo.
I got a crime thriller/musical on the go based in Texas. Think Prisoners meets Crazy Heart.
Then a mystery after a young girl gets kidnapped during a hunting trip, which turns a small-town upside down.
Lastly, the story of a young girl who deals with family loss, suicide, and the never end fight to survive.
All 4 are feature lengths scripts that have had first, second, and some third drafts. Received notes, applied some, and I’m eager to see all 4 on the screen one day. In addition, there are several shorts that need a few tweaks before bringing forward.