Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Maria Marshall: Lives in Mexico City.
Sam Samore: Lives in New York City.
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?
Maria Marshall: My inspiration for the main characters comes from the self-talk split personalities that are present in our minds.
Sam Samore: One inspiration for the story was to create a Magic Realist narrative set in Staten Island which is the sleepy New York City borough. Besides being filmmakers, we’re both visual artists, so the screenplay form is a visual experience for character development. We are looking for backing to make our story into a film.
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?
It took us two years to write the script. The process started out as one person writing a story, and the other playing off that narrative. We created structure boards to solidify the narrative lineage. Finally, we wrote the screenplay together in Google Drive – reading the entire script to one another numerous times.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
Maria Marshall: To realize all my scripts. Win an Oscar.
Sam Samore: I would like to write and direct feature films. Collaborating with Maria Marshall on the screenplay SECRET OF THE SECRET has been a very rewarding experience.
We have both written and directed feature and short films that have been on the film festival circuit, and art museum circuit, and we are looking for an agent to represent us.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
We submitted a full script because we believe in the totality of the dialogue and action in a feature length form – our entire suspense drama requires a full reading to understand all the nuances and adventure of our story.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
Maria Marshall: MARNIE. A devastating portrait of a woman who goes through psychological turmoil as a child, explaining her aberrant behavior as an adult.
Sam Samore: VERTIGO. This is an unusual work in Alfred Hitchcock’s oeuvre and has greatly influenced my writing. It combines suspense with powerful psychological drama. The cinematography is poetically evocative. It’s no wonder that Sight & Sound has it among the top two films ever made.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Movies are a group experience, encompassing many layers. Writing a screenplay is a “full time job.” The Writer must work on their project every day. The coverage service that Wiki Screenplay Contest provides is invaluable, because someone with long-time expertise, and a good heart, regards the screenplay from a professional point of view. This kind of feedback is essential. We have submitted three versions of our screenplay to the Wiki Screenplay Contest, each time receiving cogent and instructive critique.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
Maria Marshall: I am working on two other scripts. CRY PIG is a world which is inverted when a known fairy story, is delivered to a small town. The protagonist in the story is reversed. TWIN FLAME is an impossible love story with a happy ending.
Sam Samore: I am working on two screenplays. DEAD IN PARIS follows an ensemble of anti-heroes from various countries, during the 24-hour cycle of one day of vibrant Paris Springtime. The characters are intent to kill one another because of conflicts over territorial power. With SWEDISH NOCTURNES, I weave together three “fairytales” set in Sweden, in a midsummer night’s dream/nightmare.