From his critical acclaim movie Mean Creek to The Details starring Tobey Maguire, Mr. Jacob Estes has directed a science fiction thriller like no other: Don't Let Go.
Storyline from IMdD:
After a man's family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece. He's not sure if she's a ghost or if he's going mad, but as it turns out, he's not.
So, get to know the creative director and screenwriter of this movie, Mr. Jacob Estes, and see why Don't Let Go should be the movie to seek for your entertainment this weekend.
1. First off, list three adjectives to describe Don’t Let Go?
Emotional and stressful. You will have to go see it and name the third adjective for me because I can’t think of one.
2. How did you come up with the story for Don’t Let Go?
The idea that a grieving man could receive a phone call from a member of his dead family struck a very hopeful note for me. I read that idea in a screenplay that was otherwise a horror movie about monsters and ghosts. I didn’t want to do a horror movie about monster and ghosts, but I found that idea to be very beautiful and worth fighting for. So I wrote about it.
3. Were there other titles you came up with before Don’t Let Go? If so what were they?
The original title of the screenplay was Only You, because the character Ashley, who eventually would be played by Storm Reid, made a music video to the song Only You by Yaz, from Upstairs at Erics. Ultimately, when I cast Storm, I changed the song to be by a band culturally specific to her family, a song not called Only You by a band called ESG. So the title Only You ceased to make sense. Then I went on a long, winding journey to finally decide on the name Don’t Let Go — which speaks to the idea that David Oyelowo’s character can not allow his niece Storm Reid who, over the course of the film is dead but somehow able to speak to David by phone from a few days before she died, he can not allow her die again.
4. On average, how many draft scripts do you find yourself writing until you are happy and satisfied with your work?
I am never happy or satisfied with my work. And I just keep writing constantly from the moment I begin, until the last day of production and, later in the edit room, that too is a lot like writing. There is no way to count drafts. There are hundreds of changes being made all the time from the moment the idea is conceived until the moment you lock picture.
5. Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get back on track?
Writers block is about anxiety. Or fear. I have anxiety and fear. I do whatever it takes to find focus and write. Sometimes exercise helps. Sometimes talking to friends helps. Sometimes deciding not to write for a while helps.
6. What was your writing schedule when you wrote Don’t Let Go?
I spent hundreds of hours plotting the movie with one of my producers, Jay Martin. Then I wrote the script for about ten weeks straight, from 6am to 3pm every day. Before bed I would imagine what I wanted to attempt to do the next morning. Then I would start that process up again at dawn, after coffee.
7. What is your favorite line from Don’t Let Go?
“The answer to all your questions is in that jar of bubble gum.”
8. Which filmmakers did you admire growing up?
Sidney Lumet. Wim Wenders. David Cronenberg. Martin Scorsese. David Lynch. Woody Allen. Stanley Kubrick. John Carpenter. Carl Reiner…
9. Could you give a fun fact about your experience working with David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Bryon Mann, and/or Brian Tyree Henry?
What about Alfred Molina and Mykelti Williamson? They’re both in my movie and full of fun facts. Alfred Molina, for instance, does not like to be called Alfred. He prefers to be called Fred. And Mykelti likes to be called T.
10. Do you recall the very first short film you ever did? What lessons did you learned from it?
I made a music video of myself dancing to Aha’s Take on Me and the biggest lesson I learned was not to leave a very embarrassing videotape of yourself dancing to a pop song laying around or the people who watch it may tease you mercilessly.
11. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter or director, how would one get you or any expert to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
I would write them a very compelling letter and mail it to them in the mail so it could not be electronically ignored. If I could not find the director’s mailing address, I would send the letter to his or her agent.
12. You have adapted a novel into a screenplay before (Nearing Grace), how did you discover Scott Sommer’s novel?
The director Rick Rosenthal (Bad Boys) asked me to adapt it for him.
13. What advice do you wish someone had given to you when you were younger about the industry?
Take your time and figure out exactly what you want to do and say, then do and say those things methodically and careful. Do not rush. It matters not how fast you do your work, what matters is you do your work well.
14. What is the one thing everyone should eat or drink if one should visit California?
15. Last question, if you could pick a day to relive over and over again, what day would it be and why?
I wouldn’t relive a single day over and over again. I would always prefer a new day.
I just wanted to thank Mr. Jacob Estes for answering those questions. I hope you guys would check out this thrilling film. It's also a time travel movie for those who love movies with time traveling plot( I sure do). The movie release date is Aug. 30th which is today. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful day and especially a great movie experience with Don't Let Go.
Author Mr. Mark Tufo's book series Zombie Fallout will head to TV. The production company Buffalo 8 has the rights to make this possible. Producer Steven Adams, Weston Scott, and Brad Thomas are producing and executive producing the project respectively. Theo Dumont serves the Marketing Executive.
There are fourteen books, graphic novels, and audio books on the best-selling series.
Here is the Goodread's synopsis of the first novel of the series Zombie Fallout:
It was a flu season like no other. With fears of contracting the H1N1 virus running rampant throughout the country, people lined up in droves to try an attain one of the coveted vaccines. What was not known, was the effect this largely untested, rushed to market, inoculation was to have on the unsuspecting throngs. Within days, feverish folk throughout the country, convulsed, collapsed and died, only to be re-born. With a taste for brains, blood and bodies, these modern day zombies scoured the lands for their next meal. Overnight the country became a killing ground for the hordes of zombies that ravaged the land.
This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family and his friends. This is their story a band of ordinary people just trying to get by in these extra-ordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for.
Book 1 of the Zombie Fall-Out Trilogy follows our lead character in his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road always skirting on the edge of insanity. Can he keep his family safe? Can he discover the secret behind Tommy's powers? Can he save anyone from the zombie Queen - a zombie that seems by all accounts to have some sort of hold over the zombies and Mike himself? Encircled in a seemingly safe haven called Little Turtle, Mike and his family together with the remnants of a tattered community while not fighting each other, fight against a relentless, ruthless, unstoppable force. This last bastion of civilization has made its final stand. God help them all.
In the meanwhile you can read another Zombie story titled Zombie I AM: Stained( from yours truly by clicking here!)
Source Material: Deadline.com
Mr. Andy Briggs is an author, conservationist, graphic novelist and a screenwriter. He has worked on Warner Bros.' animated Aquaman. He wrote contemporary series of Tarzan books. For Paramount Pictures, he worked on Judge Dredd, Foreverman, and Freddy vs. Jason. He wrote his debut adult novel titled Control-S. He produced, wrote, and executive-produced UK/Chinese movie titled Legendary which starred Scott Adkins and Dolph Lundren. He also wrote the critical acclaimed movie titled Crowhurst. His latest movie Supervized is what this blog interview is all about. Starring Tom Berenger, Ned Dennehy, Fionnula Flanagan, Louis Gossett Jr., Clive Russell, and Beau Bridges, Supervized is about four elderly superheroes in an Ireland retirement home who decided to join together for a final thrill. So, take this moment to get to know Mr. Andy Briggs and his experience working on Supervized.
1. What is the genesis of Supervized?
While working through CROWHURST, Legendary producer Robert Halmi called me up to discuss a passion project of his. He sent me some artwork he found of an elderly Flash, Superman and Spiderman playing poker and said “Make it something like that!”.
We started chatting about Grumpy Old Men and The Quartet, and the concept quickly fell together after that.
2. Were there other titles you came up with before Supervized? If so what were they?
We had always just called it SUPERHEROES. It wasn’t ever going to be the final title, but it stuck. I was always searching for something different that would combine Grumpy Old Men with the Avengers but it was elusive. SUPERVIZED! (including the exclamation mark) just appeared on an email one day. Not sure where it came from. I was a big fan of the exclamation mark, but that fell off somewhere!
3. In one word how would you sum up Supervized?
4. Was there anything you find particularly challenging in writing Supervized?
The budget! On paper you’re not limited to the scope of the story. Of course, then we have to get real and the concept has to fall into line with what can be practically done. It was always going to be small in tone – a retirement home, faded powers that are more or less in the background. But the original ending had our heroes going to a genetic lab in the big city and was far more ambitious. That then moved to an abandoned dock, with a cool (and expensive) bad guy finale.
5. Which writer/s inspired you to become a screenwriter and an author?
I was a huge Marvel fan as a kid, so it was reading those and the personification of Stan Lee as a writer that made me think it could be a cool job. Years later my brother and I worked with Stan Lee on a movie and we stayed friends. It was a full circle dream come true.
6. Were you ever on set for the making of Supervized? If so, could you tell me what scene you were present at?
Sadly, I was working on a movie in China, so didn’t get to see any of it. They had to do a rewrite of the ending so I was annoyed to be half way around the planet!
7. Could you also express your feelings about Tom Berenger, Clive Russell, Fionnula Flanagan, Louis Gossett Jr. and/or Beau Bridges playing characters that you wrote?
It’s a fantastic cast. Director Steve Barron always insisted he wanted actors who played the ages they were in the script and who you could believe, when they were younger, could have portrayed heroes. To have a set of such legendary actors assemble was such a previlage!
8. Silly-Game question: From Control-S novel, could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
Well I still don’t have a copy yet (out in e-book/airport edition in July! Hit’s the shelves properly in November, so the page numbers won’t quite sit right. But…
“Kaiju Killer then raised two fingers at the camera and furiously flipped them like some ADHD kid on a caffeine high.” – page 24
9. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter/ producer, how would one get you or any expert to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
That’s quite a difficult question as most screenwriters would gravitate towards a more traditionally published book. But that’s not to say it’s impossible (look at The Martian). Rather than pursue a screenwriter, it might be worthwhile the writer attempting the script themselves.
10. Which novel/novella/short story/article have you read that you would like to turn to a screenplay?
There are a couple – but I am not telling just in case those rights are available, I would rather grab them myself!
11. Do you have any fun, interesting fact to tell about working for comic creator Stan Lee and legendary producer Robert Evans?
Plenty! Stan was always generous with his time, and always fun to talk to – even during script notes when he had a very specific idea on how things should play through. When I wrote my YA superhero books (Hero.com and Villain.net) he gave me a huge full-page set of quotes, but we could only use one for the cover.
What always makes me chuckle is my brother, Stan and I were posing for a photo with a life-sized Spiderman statue in his POW! Office. My brother re-positioned it, and the arm came off (it was detachable!) – Stan gave a total look of comic horror.
Robert’s office on the Paramount low was our base camp for the project, so we had the back office there. The front is in an enclosed courtyard, so the Paramount tour trolley can’t access it, and passes around the back. So we decided to stand a full-sized Kid Notorious cut out in our office window. Thereafter the trolley always stopped so the guide could relay some excellent Robert Evans tales….
12. Who is your favorite superhero?
Old school Daredevil just beat Spiderman when I was a kid. However, now, it has to be Spidey.
13. Could you describe the movie Crowhurst in three words?
Insane true story.
14. What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?
It’s been a good month! My new children’s book was up for an award (which I lost!); it’s now part of a huge reading campaign from Booktrust (https://www.booktrust.org.uk), which will roll out across the UK in September. I was asked to do an interview about my part in The Philadelphia Experiment for the original movie’s blu-ray re-release. And I may…. may… be directing a movie later this year. Let’s see….
15. Last question, what book did you read because everyone was reading it?
I hate doing that, so always try to avoid the books causing the most chatter. The last time I did so was the Harry Potter series. I jumped aboard around book 3. I’m quite happy with a Clive Cussler book on the beach, or re-reading some Michael Crichton….
I really like to thank Mr. Andy Briggs for taking his time to do this interview. Make sure you check out Supervized since it's available today! July 19th. If you want to know more about Mr. Andy Briggs and his future endeavors, you can visit his website: http://www.andybriggs.co.uk/ Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a great day.
Mr. Aldis Hodge ( What Men Want, Hidden Figures) has added as a cast member of The Invisible Man. He is now among such members as Storm Reid( Trinkets, A Wrinkle in Time), Elisabeth Moss (Us, The Old Man & The Gun). Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions is producing the project. Co-production of The Invisible man are Goalpost Pictures Australia and Nervous Tick. Production begans in july 2019 for a release date of March 13, 2020. Mr. Whannell is writing the screenplay and directing the project. He is also the executive producer.
The Invisible Man movie is based on a science fiction novel written by Mr. H.G.Wells. The novel was published in 1897 and it's about a scientist who discovered a way to become invisible. However, he has trouble reversing the process. The novel is written in third-person point of view unlike his previous works e.g. The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Time Machine (both has been adapted) which were written in the first-person narrative.
Source Material: deadline.com
Mr. AI White wrote, directed, and scored his debut movie titled Star Fish. More astonishing he will be donating the profit of the film to Cancer Research. Mr. Al White is also a lead singer and songwriter of his UK band called Ghostlight. Furthermore, he is the host of "We are Geeks", a podcast that's all about movies and games. His production company, We Are Tessellate, are currently developing albums, shorts, interactive games and of course feature films. So, read all about his experience on Star Fish and definitely check out the film since it's already in theaters. As for VOD/digital of Star Fish will be release on May 28, 2019.
1. What inspired you to write Starfish?
We were in pre-production on another feature film that wasn’t working for the budget we had, when my best friend died to cancer. I was going through a divorce at the time and this was the tipping point for me, so I hid myself away in a cabin in the Colorado mountains and wrote the first draft of ‘Starfish’. Not intending it to become a film, just to be a cathartic exercise.
2. How long did it take you to write the first draft of Starfish?
I tend to gestate for a long time and then when I write - it goes very quickly. The first draft took about a week. But I like to go somewhere remote, with little to no internet or phone reception. I just watch movies, play an immersive video game and write. But the first draft of ‘Starfish’ was fairly easy to do as I wasn’t really thinking of it becoming a movie.
3. What was your writing schedule when you wrote Starfish?
I never give myself a writing schedule, not when I’m at the creative stage, at least. I’ve always tended to find myself more creative late at night - knowing the world is quiet around me. So by secluding myself in a cabin in the mountains or something similar - it helps me be creative in the daytime as well. Just the sense of isolation and no distractions.
4. What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
Honestly, just learning to actually listen to the cliches. Someone once told me to always write about yourself and let that be the core of any story. Then the layers of storytelling go on top of that. And I couldn’t agree more - everything has to come from a truth. And the only thing you’re an expert in - is your own life. So use it and it’s details.
The other cliche is - Don’t let any chapter/scene stop you. If you hit a block in a scene then skip it. Write the things you know and are excited about. Come back for the rest.
So long as you’re planning some structure ahead and so long as you’re obviously coming back to refine and rewrite - then this is never a negative thing.
5. In one word how would you sum up Starfish?
6. What is your favorite line from any movie?
Oh that’s an impossible task! But some of my favourites recently were in ‘Phantom Thread’ including;
“I think it’s the expectations and assumptions of others that cause heartache.”
And; “There is an air of quiet death in this house and I do not like the way it smells.”
7. How did you know you wanted to become a screenwriter/director?
In all honesty, I’ve wanted to be a filmmaker since I could first speak. I’m not sure what instigated it initially. But film (and everything it encompasses; writing, music, photography, acting) has always been the only thing I wanted to do.
8. What piece of advice do you have for screenwriters starting out?
Don’t worry about writing a screenplay. Write a story. Personally I hate screenplays. They’re cold, analytic tools. Necessary, but not friends to flowing creativity.
My personal process is a series of steps that ends with me essentially writing an abbreviated novel.
Only once I’m happy with my writing do I take this and rewrite it in Final Draft. And it’s just a job at that point. The creativity part is done. I’m just turning it into a useable script.
Don’t let the mechanisms of it being a screenplay stop you from writing your story.
9. In what ways do you set yourself apart from others as a director?
I think in this day and age you have to be aware that there’s always someone quicker, someone younger, someone smarter, someone more technically adept, someone braver and more talented than you.
But there’s only one You. So much like with writing - as a director I just try to bring as much of myself to a project as possible.
You have to have a clear vision but then also be ready and excited to embrace the things that go wrong during a shoot. Turning what could be a negative into a positive.
10. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter, how would one get you or any experience screenwriter to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
I certainly can’t speak to more accomplished screenwriters/filmmakers. But for me personally - I’d take a look at anything I’m sent if I can tell two things -
Firstly; that the person who sent it is passionate about what they wrote. That doesn’t mean a two page e-mail. Keeping it short is always ideal. But just something that shows that what they wrote means something to them.
Secondly; I would want to know that they’ve actually researched me and watched/read some of my work. So I know that they’re reaching out to me because we may connect in some genuine way. And not just because they’re sending an e-mail out to dozens of creators. You’d be surprised how many people (normally actors) contact me, and they’ve clearly never even seen my work.
11. What would it take for you personally to be interested in turning a self-published story into a movie?
A story that I connect with. And I feel that’s probably the truth for most directors. Which is as nebulous and unpredictable as it sounds.
12. When inspiration is waning, when you feel creatively sapped, what do you do? How do you stay fresh?
Well sadly I tend to wade a lot through inactivity and days can just bleed by. But the times when I’m on top of things - it’s another cliche, but you can’t underestimate the power of going outside and taking a walk or a jog.
Breathing real air. Getting some exercise. You get oxygen to your brain and you have time to think and get away from your normal surroundings. And you can come back feeling more confident in body and soul.
13. Do you recall the very first short film you ever did? What lessons did you learned from it?
I did a lot of short films growing up, but without understanding the process. Even in film school, I don’t think I listened enough. I’d say my first public short film (‘Beneath’) was my first real short.
And the most important thing I purposefully learnt from it was - I did as many jobs as was humanly possible on it. We shot with just 4 on crew and 2 in the cast. I did all the camera work. The producing. In post I did the score. The editing. The sound design. I attempted a grade before passing it on to professionals.
But I tried to do everything. Because I think it’s very important that a director understands just how hard (and important) every single persons job is.
I don’t allow the actors to be called ‘Talent’ on my sets. As if they are called ‘talent’ then so should every other person on the crew be.
14. What is your favorite movie when you were a teenager? What is your favorite movie now?
‘Se7en’ and ‘Buffalo ’66’. And probably the same. I’m an obsessive list maker, so I have lots of ‘Best Of’ lists.
15. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
‘IF’. It’s the only tattoo I’d consider getting. My mum used to read me Rudyard Kipling’s ‘IF’ poem every night when I was a kid. It even features briefly in ‘Starfish’.
But I think the most important trait is empathy.
16. Last question, would you rather have a cat or a dog?
I’m 100% a crazy cat person.
My appreciation to Mr. Al White for answering those questions. I hope you check out Star Fish when you can. You can definitely get the Digital copy or VOD starting May 28 of this year. By purchasing the film you are supporting a great cause(Cancer Research). Thank you my fellow readers for stopping by here. Come again soon as I'll be posting more interviews in the near future. Take care and have a great day.
In the Near Future, we must save Earth or leave it.
Here is the synopsis to a superb, otherworldly film--directed by Jonathan Helpert--titled IO:
Sam (Margaret Qualley), one of the last survivors on a post-cataclysmic Earth, is a young scientist dedicated to finding a way for humans to adapt and survive, rather than abandon their world. But with the final shuttle scheduled to leave the planet for a distant colony, her determination to stay is rocked by the arrival of another survivor, Micah (Anthony Mackie). She must decide whether to journey with him to join the rest of humanity and begin life anew, or stay to fight for Earth's survival.
Co-writer Mr. Charles Spano has also worked on films such as Embers(available on iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix) with director Claire Carre and Bouncing Cats(available Amazon , iTunes, and Netflix) with director Nabil Elderk. So, here is the splendid interview with Mr. Charles Spano about his experience on Netflix's IO.
Could you express how you came to writing the screenplay of IO?
There was a children's sci-fi show called Star Stuff that I used to watch when I was a little kid in the early 80s. It only aired in the greater Philadelphia area, so I doubt that many people remember it. But it was about a boy on Earth who had a sort of pen pal who was a girl in space. I was only maybe five years old, but it had a profound effect on my young imagination and it stuck with me. That relationship of the two characters in that show inspired the idea that would become IO.
How was your experience co-writing IO with Clay Jeter and Will Basanta?
All screenwriting teams have different ways of working together. Clay and Will and I used to go on hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains and Angeles Crest and out on Mount Baldy - we called ourselves the Weekday Hiking Society, partially serious, but partially as a joke because we were content to be broke and living life climbing up a mountain and look down on Los Angeles and see all the people in their cars coming and going from work and meetings. On those hikes we would encounter abandoned radio towers, the ruins of buildings, and things like the Observatory on Mount Wilson. And it was walking through these places and imagining that we were on a future abandoned Earth that let us immerse ourselves in the world of IO. That's how we did our development - the mountains were our writer's room - we'd walk and talk about the characters and what they would be going through and how they would feel. Keeping a lot of mental notes and writing it all down later.
What was your writing habit when you wrote IO?
Usually writing pretty intensely for about 5 hours at a time. I wrote the first couple drafts in a mad dash. And then we were invited to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and that began a long process of rewriting. From that point we traded countless drafts back and forth because during much of the actual writing I was in New York and Clay and Will were in Los Angeles. When Jonathan Helpert came on to direct, he brought a very strong vision to his interpretation of the material and he and I spent a lot of time talking about Sam and Micah, and their journeys.
What research did you do when writing IO?
Climate change, Greek mythology, bees, solar sails, long distance space travel, space stations, geosynchronous orbit, W.B. Yeats. Will was our expert on hot air balloons and gas balloons.
What was your reaction when you first watched the trailer of IO?
There is a strange feeling when you see the trailer of a movie you wrote because it exists in a way that it never has before. Even when you have seen cuts of the film the trailer somehow makes it real in a different way. I guess because it has been handed over to the audience and now it belongs to them.
What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
It's tough advice to hear, but I had an agent tell me that when a writer is ready for an agent, agents will contact you. I thought that was crazy. Then how are you supposed to have any hope of ever getting an agent? But it turned out to be true.
Oh and I remember reading an interview with Billy Bob Thornton after Sling Blade came out where he said just keep writing screenplays and by your eighth screenplay you will probably be good enough for it to get made. I think that also turned out to be true for me.
On a practical note, the best advice I can give about writing is what my wife and writing partner Claire Carré and I call Rule Number One: write it down. What I mean by that is any idea you have, any breakthrough in plot or thoughts about character - write them down right away! Ideas that seem like you'll never forget can be gone from your mind in days or even hours.
Do you recall the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was about a time traveling detective named Frank. I think I was in First Grade. At a young age I was very enamoured with a sort of 40s style. Fedoras and characters with hard boiled sounding names.
What’s your favorite line from IO?
I won't quote it directly, but there is a scene where Sam asks Micah what animals he saw when he was a boy. I find this moment touching because we are living in a reality where the future could very well be a world with no animals.
What writers inspired you to be a screenwriter?
When I was younger, I really sparked to Michael Tolkin's The Player, a film from his own novel directed by Robert Altman. In some ways it was also about being a screenwriter which seemed cool and enticing. And then it was all Paul Thomas Anderson, who I think has described himself as being a writer first and a director second. After that I wanted to write mad, fever dream screenplays like Werner Herzog, and scripts that felt like Milan Kundera and Don DeLillo novels.
For IO, obviously Tarkovsky was a big influence, but so was Jon Raymond who wrote Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, and Meek's Cutoff for Kelly Reichardt.
Reprise by Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt is a script that has had a lasting influence on my writing and I love Paul Schrader's screenplay for The Mosquito Coast. But, more recently I've been inspired by The Knick which was created by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, Michael Hirst who created and wrote 89 episodes of Vikings, and Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers and all the writers on Halt & Catch Fire who I think are responsible for some of the most moving screenwriting ever.
In your experience, what would you say it takes to be a successful screenwriter?
Just sticking it out. Try to be the last one standing. Because there is a lot of rejection in screenwriting and it will feel, maybe accurately, like everything is conspiring to make you give up. But if you stick it out long enough you will also find that you've written quite a few screenplays and that you've gotten better at it. The trick is that for every script you write you have to fully believe that it is definitely going to be made, while simultaneously accepting the reality that getting anything made into a movie is incredibly unlikely.
If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter, how would one get you to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
That's tricky. Because as working screenwriters we get sent a lot of material from our agents that we need to read, often quickly. Like, an entire series of 500 page novels for one pitch. And then if we've been lucky enough to sell a show and are staffing a writer's room, that means reading over a hundred sample pilots. And then after that we need to read our friends scripts and give them notes. So there is not a lot of reading time left. I think building up fan base for your self-published stories could lead to discovery because agents and studios are always on the search for material. But agents don't accept unsolicited material. With writers like me, you can find my email online and contact me directly, and there are plenty of writers you could DM. I'd say be polite, ask if they would consider reading your story and don't be surprised or insulted if they don't have time. The reality of it is that screenwriters have tons of our own stories we want to tell which are in the queue for us to write someday, so it is hard to displace those. I guess my best advice is if you think that your self-published story would make a great movie and you can't find a screenwriter interested in optioning it from you then write the screenplay yourself.
What would it take for you personally to be interested in translating a self-published story into a screenplay?
I'd personally have to be very captivated by the concept, because if I'm adapting a short story, I'm going to dimensionalize the characters myself, so it would really be about the concept being both exciting but also subjectively resonant to me. That or encountering a story so authentic in it's representation of an experience wholly foreign to me that it is unlike anything I've ever read. But I've read a lot of short stories and there are very few I would want to adapt as a screenplay.
What do you like best about yourself?
Ha, that's a funny question. I have a strong sense of principles and identity.
Last question, if you had to write yourself as a villain, what kind of villain would you be? What would you be named?
That's also a strange question. I do relate to the Magneto of Marvel's 2014-2015 Cullen Bunn run, who is trying to save mutants from persecution. The best villains believe they are doing the right thing.
When all's said and done, you would definitely miss something special if you don't give Netflix's IO a try. I would like to definitely thank Mr. Charles Spano for his time to reply my interview questions. Also, I would like to thank you, the reader, for reading this blog interview. Take care and I hope you have a happy day.
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