Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
I currently live in Bonner, MT. but I’m originally from Houston, TX.
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?
My business partner and I were talking on the phone one day and the conversation turned into a brainstorming session about wanting to write an animated kids/family genre style of movie. That led to the creation of the main character Joey, an Arctic Wolf and his polar bear friend Rufus. From there came the musical aspect of making them musicians and sending them off on a quest to leave the Arctic, Joey’s desire to go against his dad’s wishes to become a famous blues musician, all while meeting a variety of interesting characters in some well-known and not so well-known locations. Though I’ve written plenty of short-stories, “Joey” was always destined to be a screenplay, full of comedy, musical numbers, funny characters, and the visual medium was a fitting place.
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?
Staring out with FADE IN is something I don’t often do. I need to know certain aspects of the story, these aspects may change and often do, but no, starting on a blank page often leads to unfinished writing. I’ve learned over the years that treatments work well, having some form of narrative written to follow, even if it’s bullet points or something like that works well. For this screenplay it took me 30 days to write, always writing at least 3 pages a day, and for the most part I followed a treatment I wrote, though ideas and scenes changed along the way.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer? Simple.
To be a wanted screenwriter. Option the first one, and then be contacted to write another, then another.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
My entry, “Joey” was a full script. I opted for the executive level notes/comments/coverage as well. With what I’ve learned over the years in regards to the importance of the first 10 pages, I felt good about my ten pages of “Joey”, but either way I wanted to send the entire feature, because it was important to me that the entire story arch be read, scored, and commented on, and I was glad that I did.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
I’m sure a common response to this question is how hard that is to answer because of all the different genres that are out there, and yet the same thing goes for me. So, I’d have to say that I enjoy movies with wonderful dialogue and banter between characters while having a story that slightly skews normal life, if that makes sense. Movies by Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, the Coen Brothers, Christopher Nolan, etc…
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Write it, read it, then read it out loud, then work on rewrites. Then line edit, then read it, read it out loud again, and make sure all the elements are there: pacing, dialogue, tone, conflict, characters, format, and marketability. And remember, you are writing for a visual medium, so show don’t tell, and double check certain parts that you’re in love with, make sure they’re always driving the story forward, or sadly, that’s a darling you may need to kill.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
Currently a horror/thriller, also thinking of rewriting a prior horror/thriller I have which I received Quarterfinalist on in a different contest, working on an adult animated cartoon series with my writing partner as well, and have plans for another animated feature. Basically, the plan is to continue writing 3 pages minimum a day on whatever it is, finish it, polish it, submit it, and move on to the next.