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Notification: August 15
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Scriptapalooza interviews 1st Place winners Brian Price & Samuel W. Gailey, 2nd Place winner Matt Billingsly, and 3rd Place winner Paul Chepikian:
1st Place Winner
Brian Price & Samuel W. Gailey
How did you come up with your story idea?
Brian: Sam and I are both drawn to fish out of water stories about lovable losers (being a pair ourselves) and honestly, who hasn’t read Moby Dick and thought it would benefit from more fart jokes? In all seriousness, we wrestled with a dozen different comedy ideas and the one we kept coming back to, the one that everyone told us could never work, and the one that kept us laughing every time we talked about it was a humorous take on Melville’s classic, which at the time, we thought of as City Slickers meets Jaws. If it made us laugh so much, we figured it was a good bet others might appreciate it as well.
Sam: And besides, “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” was already taken.
How long did it take you to write it?
Brian: About a year and a half (and about a dozen drafts) from inspiration to submission.
Sam: Just slightly longer than it took us to answer these interview questions.
Is this your first script that you have written?
Sam: We’ve each written quite a bit individually. In fact, we first met as screenwriters several years ago in the same writer’s group, writing separately, but helping each other with notes on a regular basis. We quickly realized that we had a similar sense of humor, and decided to see if we could write something together. So this is our very first collaboration.
Brian: But certainly not our last. I can already smell 'Whale Farts 2: Electric Boogaloo'
Have you entered other screenwriting competitions?
Brian: Ironically, we’d each entered one other competition before. And it was the very same competition, the UCLA Screenwriter’s Showcase.
Sam: My script “Almost Murder” and Brian’s script “The Many Lives of Bobby Ivers” each won, in separate years.
Have you been successful?
Sam: I have written a couple one hour television dramas for Fox and Showtime, completed several feature assignments for Roland Emmerich’s company, optioned “Almost Murder,” and done rewrites for a German production company.
Brian: I’ve had a spec optioned by Universal, directed an independent film that did well on the festival circuit, done rewrites for various production companies, and currently have a project set up at Endgame Entertainment.
Why did you enter Scriptapalooza?
Brian: We thought we were buying tickets to Lollapalooza, and Sam wanted to show Amy Winehouse his "Screenwriters Do It With Three-Hole Punch" tattoo.
Sam: Actually, it’s “Screenwriters Have Bigger Slugs.” But seriously, Scriptapalooza has such a strong reputation and credibility in the industry we knew that this was the one contest that could really help boost our careers and put our script in the hands of people who might actually make it.
Advice to other screenwriters?
Sam: Make sure you get feedback and notes on your script from other writers, producers, or whoever will give you an objective view of your story because as a writer, it’s an extremely insular existence.
Brian: And keep writing. Quantity really does breed quality. The truth is the more you write, the better you will write. And it doesn’t hurt to have an inventory of scripts when one of them finally hits. Oh yeah, and don’t be squeamish about giving your script an absolutely ridiculous title.
How did you feel when you saw your name as one of the winners?
Brian: I actually heard before I saw. I was leaving for work and my girlfriend said there was a message for me from someone named Mark Andrushko. I called him back while heading for the door and he asked me, “So, have you heard?” “Heard what?” “Whale Farts won Scriptapalooza,” probably the first time those four words have ever been uttered in the same sentence. I’m not kidding when I say I almost dropped the phone. I was completely floored. For the next ten minutes I made Mark reassure me over and over again that this wasn’t some cruel prank or tragic error. He must have thought I was a mental case. I knew our script was good, but still, having to deal with disappointment and rejection so much in this business, such amazingly rewarding validation was overwhelming. Even weeks later, I still haven’t gotten the moronic grin off my face.
Sam: Ditto for me. Except that I wasn’t leaving for work and I don’t have a girlfriend. But the moronic grin is still definitely on my face.
An interview with Mark Andrushko regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Teddy Adams regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Mike B Jones regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Brien Kelly regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Heather Regnier regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Matt Billingsly regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Paul Chepikian regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Brian Price regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Patrick Andrew O'Connor regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Sean McElhiney regarding the Scriptapalooza Writing Competition.