Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Fort Wayne, Indiana - the Hollywood of Indiana! OK, no, not so much.
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 tend to envision things cinematically, and can write descriptively yet succinctly. I also believe that the screen reaches a greater audience than printed matter these days. In my award-winning sci-fi pilot entitled TRAPPED, I set up a story engine that could be spun out for a long time (and doesn’t require a big budget or aliens!)
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?
I believe outlining is an essential step if you want to ensure good structure - and until you are such an established writer that industry professionals know you and will read whatever you write just because you wrote it - and I am not yet - it behooves newer writers to illustrate that we can master structure before deviating from it. Plus, let’s face it, commencing with FADE IN is out of fashion now and can be omitted.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
I’ve seen my words appear on the screen, and it’s a rush. I’ve been on set where dedicated actors memorized what I wrote into my laptop (I didn’t ever have my script memorized - they did). I’ve met people who I described first on the page, then laid my eyes on - due the great work of a casting director - and it was a bit surreal, as if I had manifested them into existence. It’s a fantastic experience that I hope all writers manage to achieve at some point in their lifetime.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
I entered a the pilot competition. I feel as if I’ve learned the lesson that you need to give the reader a reason to keep reader after one page, three, five, and ten, and so I just dove in. I was glad I did.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
The Mission - 1986 - has everything - history, action, adventure, character development, universal themes, social justice, fantastic cinematography, unforgettable images,
important message, great acting (my introduction to Jeremy Irons), unbelievable soundtrack. I remain unconvinced that that movie can be improved.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Read more screenplays - especially produced ones - that teaches you what works. Get quality feedback and employ it - pay for it if you have to. Don’t bother with free screenwriting software, if you want to be a professional, then start using Final Draft like the professionals do.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
I have a historical period serial drama limited series aimed at premium streamers about a largely unknown Italian Renaissance composer named Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613) who lived an audacious life for today, let alone then. He murdered his wife and her lover when he caught them in bed - but that’s only the beginning of his life story. He was a masochist, bisexual, Prince, genius, and recent scholarship has put him at the center of a witch trial.