Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Auckland New Zealand
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 inspiration for my film is an interesting question. I get asked this question a lot and the reality is, I don’t know. I have made five of my screenplays into films. We always hold a premiere when it’s finished in a large theatre for the cast, crew, friends and family. Afterwards we invite questions, and someone always asks this question. My stock answer is When someone asked this question of Mark Twain he said “If I knew where all the good ideas came from, I would go there for more”
I assume I saw, or read about some new smart watch technology and thought that’s interesting but “what would happen if?”
I am a filmmaker so I write visualizing the film I will make. This keeps my feet firmly on the ground. After all, what is the point of writing a helicopter arial fight scene when it’s never going to happen?
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?
Timebound took me around 2 months to write, which is quicker than my previous films. I probably break all the rules when I write. I like the logic of mind mapping to map out the storyline, but I can’t seem to make it work for me. So my modus operandi is using copious pages in OneNote under the working title of the film. The important first one is the synopsis (which continues to be expanded) and that’s followed by my characters. Who they are, what do they do and what’s their relationship to the protagonist and antagonist. I add my research and each aspect has its own page. Whenever I envisage an new scene I give it a new page and write my ideas here.
When I’m ready I start writing in Final Draft. However, I am forever flipping backwards and forwards and adding more pages in OneNote. So, in effect I am thinking through the ideas on these pages first. Most scenes take shape here before I add them to the screenplay.
Other headings I use are “Major Setbacks” “Possible Twists” or “The Opening”. I’m always considering if there is a better conclusion to my film. So there will be a heading “Alternative Endings”
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
I have completed seven screenplays, including one feature film. These are mostly Sci Fi. I have produced and directed five of them. The feature has full worldwide distribution and two of the short films have limited distribution. I am offering my latest screenplay to the Hollywood market and I know if its picked up I will be busy writing another seven episodes.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
I chose to have the entire script read and evaluated. I had already won a best screenplay award, but I still wanted some additional considered feedback. I was over the moon with the quality of the feedback.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
Some of my favourites are Pretty Woman, I think I fell in love with Julia Roberts! The Graduate, absolutely amazing acting by Dustin Hoffman, 2001 A Space Odessey, this was an entirely new film for me and it blew me away. The Godfather is a great story with powerful as hell acting. I always wondered why Marlon Brando mumbled his lines now everyone does it! Others are Annie Hall, Bonnie and Clyde To Sir with Love. A TV series I loved was “The Amazing Mrs Mazel because incorporating song into a series is another level altogether. I have very briefly considered making an indie musical. Unlikely though. Tough call!
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Have you got enough conflict in your story to keep your reader absorbed? Your reader needs to be constantly wondering what’s coming next and not wanting to put the screenplay down. Once I have finished, I have my wife read it. Now the difficulty is, I need an honest appraisal from her. This is the point where you must be able to take criticism and use those comments to improve your story. I have a bevy of friends who will read and provide feedback. I send it to one person at a time. I listen to their feedback and make changes where appropriate and then send it to the next person. I leave the most critical reviewer till the end. She is a writer herself. In the event anyone says “I quite like your story” I consider that story a dud. I certainly wouldn’t make it into a film with such a weak response
Be realistic, no matter how good your script is, it won’t be chosen and achieve selection status, let alone win a placing, at some festivals. Perhaps the judge doesn’t like the subject matter, maybe the genre is not one that he or she appreciates or maybe the judge is just having a bad day etc.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
I wrote a children’s book during covid lockdown, and it’s just been accepted for publication. I am super lucky because this is the only publisher I’ve ever sent it to.
I may be about to launch into a new screenplay. I heard something on the news just yesterday, which set my creative juices on fire. It related to some new technology. If I see or hear something unusual my imagination comes to the fore, and I wonder “What would happen if?” This is often how my new stories germinate. I write these ideas down when they first come to mind. If I can leave you with one piece of advice it is write those ideas down as you think of them, not tomorrow. That’s when you will be most creative.