Winner/Best TV Script/January 2023
Winner/Best TV Script/January 2023
Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Baltimore, MD, 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 have been eager to do something with the queer dystopian drama play The Balcony by Jean Genet for a long time. Now felt like the right time both politically and socially to incorporate some of Genet’s ideas into a television pilot to explore themes of power, sexuality, and death through comedy and camp. I chose to write a script because I very much wanted to reference the form of the play as a character of its own in this work. I wrote a television pilot because I believe there is so much more of this world to see and more of these characters to explore.
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?
The pilot episode of Snowball is 64 pages and took me around 5 months to write. My process is regimented but once things get going it breaks down into more of a push and pull. I start with the overview of the world and the characters, draw out my beats, expand into outline, elaborate on my character development, flesh out dialogue, and revise, revise, revise. With this project, because there are so many plot points, I did have to revert to index cards to get things in order among absolute chaos about three quarters of the way through.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
I love television because it is more collaborative and because the screenwriter has a more hands-on role in the work. I love both the energy of being on set and the quiet introspective space of writing. I would love to write projects that I’m able to have a hand in the production of.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
I chose the full script option because as a new screenwriter I need all the feedback I can get! I was thrilled by the generosity of the feedback from the Wiki judges.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
I recently finished watching season one of The Bear. The more I write, the more I’m finding inspiration in characters that have been developed well. The Bear brings characters full of life to the screen. Hardly anything else needs to happen at all. I am in awe of the writing for that show.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by a community that has provided me with critical feedback on my scripts. When I’ve been able to afford it, I’ll swing for coverage when submitting to competitions and fellowships. Sometimes that feedback can hit a little harder, but it’s been helpful for me to take it in, pause, and revisit the work after processing. Revising can go on forever, not because the work is bad, but because characters can always be more developed.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
Currently I’m working on planning a wedding in Baltimore and then moving to Los Angeles! I have another pilot script in development that I’m finishing up with a fellowship at Johns Hopkins University and am excited to apply these projects to opportunities out west!