Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Ken Mora

An interview with screenwriter Ken Mora regarding the Screenwriter Showcase Writing Competition.

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

A: “Ms. Valkyrie” takes place in a ‘political near future’ where euthanasia is legal, not because of a popular philosophy of personal sovereignty, but because a straining health care system cannot cope with care for the terminally ill, or the cost of curing those with advanced illness. At the same time, life extending technologies are available to those very wealthy that can afford them, so a social stratification begins to form: The wealthy can live longer and longer, and the rest get to choose how they die. When the protagonist, a ‘personal’ hospice care worker, proposes that her company campaign to reform the system, those closest to her start dying in the manner of her patients. As chief suspect, she must find the real killer in order to save herself and those she loves. It‘s a taut action/thriller with plenty of twists and a strong female lead unlike any you‘ve seen on screen

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

A: Screenwriter Showcase offered a free month’s listing to entrants right off the bat. A nice inducement. A review of their site displayed some quality work so it was a pretty easy choice. An earlier version of “Ms. Valkyrie” took second prize honors in the action category at Indie Gathering earlier this year as well as placing in the top 100 of Screenwriter’s Dig, and before that was a finalist at writemovies.com

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 were not only on time with winner selection, they were early! If you’re used to pushed-back timelines and extended deadlines, this is quite a nice change and a sign of true professionalism. Emails were responded to immediately and personally. I highly recommend this competition.

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

A: None was offered, none expected.

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

A: Not so far, but the prize included a six month listing on inktip.com (along with a copy of Final Draft), and inclusion in inktip's player’s marketplace publication, which from my experience virtually guarantees good exposure.

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

A: This is my third award-winning script. My first, “A Light Before The Darkness“ based on the life of the artist Caravaggio, was optioned by director Heinrich Dahms and remains on his development roster while he begins production of “Wonder Child“ and gears up for “Thug” immediately after. He‘s a talented filmmaker whose movie “My Daughter‘s Keeper“ shows a keen sense of dramatic tension and an appreciation for light that a biography of Caravaggio demands. I’m currently seeking representation on my dark-comedic spoof of Dirty Harry films entitled “Magnum Farce” which took top honors at Indie Gathering, as well as for this script “Ms. Valkyrie“, an action-thriller sci-fi story.

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

A: I do live in L.A. I’m a California native. As expensive as things are out here, and with the traffic, I’d recommend moving here only with solid prospects.

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

A: Always. I will finish a romantic comedy soon, and continue development on two other projects. As you can tell from my body of work, I don’t feel bound by an particular genre, I’m just a “writing machine” and look for intriguing challenges which I hope will lead to assignment writing in addition to sales of my spec work. In addition, I continue to mentor others professionally via heliumfeedback.com which I find very rewarding.

Posted Thursday, December 8, 2005