Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Camille LaGuire

An interview with screenwriter Camille LaGuire regarding the GAFFERS Writing Competition.

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

A: It's a Noir Thriller called SLAYER OF CLOCKS. It's about Joe, a crook and former detective, who once kidnapped an heiress' dog, but never got the money. Now he's found out the ransom never went back to the bank. It was "lost" by the heiress' loopy, clock-smashing, ex-FBI, ex-boyfriend, who was supposed to have delivered it. So Joe finagles a job to investigate the boyfriend, and figure out whether the guy is crazy and incompetent, telling the truth, or is he up to something.

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've entered a few others, but it's a tricky, twisty script, and it took a lot of drafts to get it right. I entered it too early. This was the first contest where I had results with it. I picked the GAFFERS competition because they had a short judging period. I needed some faster feedback.

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: They did a fine job. Like a lot of film festival based competitions they announced the winners at the festival, on a weekend. Since I'm an out-of-town writer, I was unable to attend, and I chewed my nails until the weekend was over and they posted the winners to the website.

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

A: They didn't offer feedback in the first place, so I didn't expect any.

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

A: No one has contacted me, but it has been helpful to be able to say that the script did well in a contest. I can't say how helpful, because I'm only just starting to market it.

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

A: I've always loved movies, and always wanted to be a screenwriter, but I realized that I couldn't do it from Michigan at the time, and I did not have the resources or maturity to pull up stakes and move across the country just to find out if maybe it was possible. I'm so anti-social, I thought fiction would be a better fit.

I wrote short stories for years. I've published mysteries, fantasy and children's fiction. I wrote a couple of unpublished novels. I had some good responses, but publishing fiction these days is such a painfully slow process, a year or more for one publisher to consider one novel (and most want exclusivity for that time). I finally decided that no matter how difficult it is to break into Hollywood, it was better to be doing what I love most.

I've written two other scripts. The first, a western, got me a "just missed the quarter finals" note from the Nicholl Fellowships last year. The second, a crime comedy called THE SCENIC ROUTE, made the finals in the Find the Funny competition, and the second round in Austin Heart of Film this year.

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

A: I live in Michigan, and don't currently have plans to move, but I have relatives in the LA area, and visit often. Email, contests, and travel to conferences and events has made it easier to make contacts even from a distance.

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

A: I'm working on several. As I start marketing my existing scripts, I'm learning a lot. One thing I've learned is that I have to follow up a script submission with a good script in a similar genre. While all my scripts are crime stories, one is a comedy, one's a thriller, and the other is a quirky adventure. I have a lot of projects that are ready to write, but I'll probably settle in soon on a light, low-budget action story that overlaps all three sub-genres best.

Posted Thursday, October 6, 2005