Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Constantine Athanas

An interview with screenwriter Constantine Athanas regarding the A Feeding Frenzy Writing Competition.

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

A: POE is a macabre take on the mysterious (and still unsolved) death of Edgar Allan Poe, and the lifelong emotional distress and mental illness that led him to it. On the one hand, the screenplay is a fact-based account of Poe's life; at the same time, the story stands alone as a tale of mystery and horror that unfolds like a typical Poe short story--and therefore pays homage both to the man and his enduring work of fantastical fiction.

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 entered POE in AFF's competition because of the very positive reviews AFF has received on Moviebytes as well as in other forums.

POE has been successful in other competitions (Winner, Acclaim Film; 5th place, Red Inkworks; Finalist, Century City Film Festival; Finalist, Writer's Arc Fellowship).

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: Very satisfied--AFF met, or beat, its posted deadlines. AFF provided me with excellent feedback that went far beyond the norm.

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

A: Yes--loads. Very insightful, very useful. Plus: winners received a phone consultation that, coupled with the pages of script notes, made it clear where and how to further improve the script.

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

A: Several production companies and managers have requested my script in the last couple of weeks. I think this is due in part to placing second in AFF's competition (AFF posts the winners on its website and sends the scripts to production company sponsors--always good to get your name out there). I think it is also due to a general resurgence of interest in the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the critical acclaim bestowed on CAPOTE, which is a good example of how to bring a writer's life to the screen without getting bogged down in pen-to-paper shots.

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

A: I'm an attorney with a strong background in research and writing. I've written several more appellate briefs than I have screenplays, but I try to continue creative writing on the side. I recently finished a supernatural thriller, IN THE DARK OF DAY (a finalist in the Screamfest LA and Red Inkworks competitions), inspired by Poe's novella, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym." I have two other screenplays in the works.

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

A: I reside with my wife, three children and three poodles in Massachusetts.

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

A: I work on multiple projects at once, as time permits. When I get bogged down on one, I pick up where I left off on another. At this time I'm working on NIKA, an action epic inspired by the Sixth Century uprising of charioteers and their fans that nearly toppled the Byzantine Empire. Think GLADIATOR meets THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS.

Posted Thursday, November 10, 2005