Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Teresa Lewis

An interview with screenwriter Teresa Lewis regarding the Brass Brad Writing Competition.

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

A: Rebirth is based on a provocative true story seen through the eyes of a womanizing artist. Rebirth, as the name suggests, is set in the Renaissance, in a time when art is life and knowledge, power. When the pursuit of truth threatens the powers that be, when tyranny and intolerance are blessed-- a pacifist artist exchanges his brush for a sword in a fight for liberty and life itself. This unlikely hero uncovers more than the nudes he captures on canvas, when he discovers the courage to face his fears and finds love that changes his life. Rebirth is based on a passionate and chilling true story of the abuse of power versus the power and honor of a few brave hearts.

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

A: It is the first mentorship contest I've entered and since I want to learn all the angles of the business, I thought it was a good idea to seek guidance from those who know more than I do. I found the contest posted on Moviebytes and entered through withoutabox.com. Both are excellent websites.

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: Kimberly, at the Brass Brad, has been very professional, making several phone calls to inform me of my status--first the semi-finals, the finals, the narrowing to the top three, and then finally the big drum roll-- first runner up, otherwise known as second place. I will be getting guidance from her on marketing Rebirth, as well as a script I'm working on now. I am also looking forward to more publicity for this riveting story and using the free writing software to polish my scripts in progress.

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

A: The feedback is coming in the mail from all three judges as well as from the founder of the contest. I was told that the judges loved my script but have not read their specific comments, as of yet.

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

A: Too soon to tell, but I have gotten quite a bit of recognition on my own since the First Place Win at Epiphany, without an agent. A huge Production Company in London requested a read a few days ago, and another in Copenhagen wants to put it on their production slate, contingent upon financing.

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

A: I have always been a writer. Even at seven years old, I recall standing on a chair washing dishes, and almost falling off as I dashed for a pencil and paper to write a poem. Rebirth came from the heart-- a story that so touched me, that I was literally driven to write day and night. This story is not about me, but my characters who actually lived with such integrity in a fight for civil liberty, against intolerance.

I must say that contests have been an excellent path for gaining recognition and credibility, and I recommend this avenue to all aspiring screenwriters. Contests with feedback are a plus.

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

A: I have many relatives in California, including my sister and nephew. My nephew played the younger version of Ian McKellan in the movie Gods and Monsters. I would love to visit LA and even spend time. I know I loved living there as a child.

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

A: Which one? I am making great progress on three separate scripts, but the one that I'm working on daily is another fascinating story about a scientist who helped lay the foundation for Einstein’s theory of relativity, but was given little credit, because she was a woman. She is best known as Voltaire's "love of his life."

Amazing how sensual that science can be when two passionate souls connect. I love writing tightly woven scripts that tease, excite, entertain and enlighten. I am especially attracted to history and see many scripts based on individuals and events that shaped our present ideals with integrity changed the world. My goal is to write scripts that will, even in some small way, alter the way we think and feel-- for the better.

I also want to explore comedy, and took a comedy writing class this summer with Hal Croasmun, where I learned that the more incongruent the outcome, the funnier the scene. I try to see the humor in most everything.

Posted Sunday, January 8, 2006