Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Brian Hill

An interview with screenwriter Brian Hill regarding the Phoenix/Arizona Writing Competition.

Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?

A: The script is titled FORT DEFIANCE. It is a ‘ghost story’ Western adventure that takes place in 1895 Arizona at a remote Army post slated for closing. A legendary Cavalry officer has to forge an uneasy coalition of soldiers, settlers and Indians to face one final epic battle against a ruthless band of outlaws and another equally formidable army of ghosts that stand guard over an enormous cache of gold.

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: I was alerted to this contest by the incredibly helpful people at, who had an announcement in their newsletter that the deadline for the Phoenix contest had been extended. I had just finished FORT DEFIANCE and this was the first contest I entered it in. I think I got the script postmarked on the last eligible day. Luck certainly plays a role in a writer's success.

Q: Were you satisfied with the adminstration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: The administration of the contest was great. The contest director mailed out the prizes very promptly. One of the fun prizes was a VIP Pass to the Phoenix Film Festival, which gave me an opportunity to talk to people in the film industry and attend all the events and screenings.

Q: Were you given any feedback on your script? If so, did you find the feedback helpful?

A: The top three finishers of the contest received a ‘coverage’ report on their scripts.

Q: Has your success in this contest helped you market your script? Were you contacted by any agents, managers or producers?

A: The contest has been beneficial both in meeting producers who want to read the script that won the prize, and in getting some of my other scripts read as well. I was contacted by a producer in Texas who really loves FORT DEFIANCE, and a production company in Australia recently requested it. I have high hopes for this script.

Q: What's your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?

A: In addition to writing scripts, I have had four books published in the last five years, and several magazine articles including the cover story in the March 2005 issue of The Writer magazine. This summer I have been out promoting my non-fiction book THE MAKING OF A BESTSELLER at writers' conferences and at book signing events.

I have written or co-written four scripts, and am in the process of completing a fifth. I enjoy writing action/adventure stories that have a romance element, or suspense/thriller stories, although I’m finishing a romantic comedy script right now, which is definitely a change of pace. For the last several years I have been taking screenwriting courses at UCLA-Extension, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. The feedback I have received from the instructors at UCLA and also from the class members, has been tremendously helpful.

Q: Do you live in Los Angeles? If not, do you have any plans to move there?

A: I don’t have plans to move to Los Angeles right now. I’m only 50 minutes away by air.

Q: What's next? Are you working on a new script?

A: I am working to find representation for the scripts I have completed, and hope to finish my new script by mid-October. I am also co-author of a novel, OVER TIME, which is being released this fall. A film rights agent in Hollywood has agreed to represent the novel, and I am very excited about that.

Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2005