Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Akron, Ohio 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?
The idea of Tempting Fate started simply by reading a comic strip that featured a grim reaper. Before even finishing the punchline, I began to think of how funny it might be to use multiple grim reapers to take away a reluctant person destined to die. It evolved from that simple thought. It has always intrigued me how the mind is triggered by certain images or exterior stimuli.
I began writing scripts in order to make films; consequently, it was never a consideration to write a short story based on the idea. I naturally envisioned the idea in a script form to possibly make a movie from the script.
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?
“Two” seems to be the common denominator: It took me two hours to write down ideas, two days to write the outline and two weeks to write the script. Obviously, a few revisions were made as the script began to circulate the festival circuit.
I wrote down the ideas and outline using a notepad on my nightstand. I feverishly wrote down ideas and plot lines out of sequence so that at least I remembered what to be included in the script. I would go back and number each idea or scene by which act it takes place in.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
Ultimately, I would like to write screenplays that excite me and attempt to attract some attention in order to eventually sell and make the screenplay into a movie (as all screenwriters hope to do). I am a realist, so I do know of the odds.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
Full script. Since Tempting Fate is a short script, it makes no sense to enter “the first ten pages.” I do realize the importance of the first ten pages on a feature screenplay, but my script is only seventeen pages long - you might as well read the entire thing.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
I fall in love with far too many movies to name one. Some of my favorites are: Once Upon a Time in the West, which deftly combines drama, history, comedy, action, etc. into a compelling and complex movie. I’m a huge fan of Apocalypse Now, which shows a journey that takes place inside a mind. 2001 is one of the greatest films ever made. Kubrick would never have been able to make that film today. I love how the disparate parts of the film make much more sense when it’s taken in as a whole. Taxi Driver is an intense character study about a person who is seemingly irrational, but he justifies his actions in his own mind. I’m simply rattling off a few movies that I can think of at the moment.
The Prisoner is my favorite television show. The premise was based on psychological warfare, like a chess match. The series didn’t last very long, but it was long enough to leave an indelible impression on me.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Do not give up. Get the analysis offered by Wiki. It’s invaluable. My first entry didn’t even place. I stewed over it for a little while, then decided to do something about it: I listened, assimilated and wrote, over and over and over. Read as much as you can. I am still learning everyday.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
I have continued to revise two screenplays, Richard Spong and The Red Zone. Richard Spong was chosen as the winner in the Wiki Screenplay Contest earlier in the year. The most valuable prize I won was a one hour consult with Robert McCullough. He opened my eyes regarding formatting, dialogue, action/description scenes, etc.. His advice was immeasurably informative and helpful. The script is now in its final draft and will go through the festival circuit as well as pursuing representation. The Red Zone has been reworked many times and I believe the final draft will be finished in a month.
My newest screenplay, Sandstorm, is about a family trying to survive the future effects of climate change and a gang of marauders. It should be ready to go in about two months.