Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Half Moon Bay, California USA
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?
I had been taking flying lessons in Santa Barbara and was intrigued with stories of airplanes and air safety. After UCLA film school, I wrote the first draft of Crash Site in the late 80s when there were major changes taking place in aviation. Always looking for conflict between ideas and characters, this area seemed ripe for exploring further and pitting a principled investigator against a somewhat reckless airline CEO.
I felt the material worked as a screenplay, which I was most comfortable with, but have since also taken on the challenge of writing novels and novellas.
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?
Typically, it took me from 3 to 6 months for a first draft, including a fair amount of research. With better technology as the years passed using Final Draft, and other tools, I did a number of rewrites and each of those became progressively faster. I generally have a pretty good sense of where the story is going, and I will work with an outline, and digital scene cards, and then go to the first draft, with lots of revisions in the scene cards, and in the actual screenplay.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
For years, like William Goldman, I wanted to write screenplays and novels and enjoyed the process of doing both. It was always a challenge to either inspire an audience, or excite a reader, and convey the story with an authentic voice. It would be great fun to build a body of work that large audiences resonate with and bring a meaningful yet entertaining focus to the entertainment field.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
It was a full script. I felt it was better to present the entire work rather than the first 10 pages and that was a pretty quick decision.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
Favorite movie…“Chinatown by Robert Towne”. Great screenplay by a real pro with lots of layers, and so the movie works on multiple levels against a real historical backdrop.
Favorite television show. “Blacklist”. Jon Bokenkamp does a great job of developing wonderful characters, a complex story, and the ability to have surprises all along the way. Raymond Reddington is hilarious.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Pick great contests. Write, polish, submit and keep improving your craft and marketing it to the world.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
I am refining and updating about 25 screenplays and TV pilots that I have written, and I am on my fourth novel, which should be released and published in 2024.