Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Nick Korolev

An interview with screenwriter Nick Korolev regarding the Appalachian Writing Competition.

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

A: AVERELL AND THE RIDERS OF THE NORTH WIND which won 1st place. This action/adventure feature film is based on the true story of General William Averell and his West Virginia brigade’s daring Civil War cavalry raid 411 miles deep into Confederate territory through mountain terrain in brutal winter conditions to cut the rail road supply line to Knoxville, Tennessee at Salem, Virginia. More than a war story, it is the story of survival against all odds where nature itself becomes as dangerous as the Confederate forces on a search and destroy mission.

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 started writing this script in the begining of Nov of 2004 just before I was layed off from a company I worked for and dedicated myself to finishing it. I finished this script by the end of Dec. 2004, saw an announcement in the newspaper about the contest and that my state was one of those allowed to enter. Knowing a win might attract an agent or producer I decided to take a chance figuring it would be an experienced script writer with a track record from NY who would win and not a writer just entering film writing like me. Because I am still in need of a "day job" (I do administrative work) and living off savings I can not spare much money entering contests. I have entered two since then with this script both pending.

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: Yes to all. This is a great regional contest to enter.

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

A: Good feedback. I may decide to change the begining though it is fine as it stands. The contest judges (film industry professionals), sponsors and supporters were so happy with it that they put a copy in PDF on the contest site. I was told should a production company get serious, investors are interested, but the filming must be done in West Virginia which is where I would like it filmed since there are state and national forests where the actual route of the raid passed through plus are easily accessible to film crews. Hollywood does not have to go to Romania to film like what happened with COLD MOUNTAIN.

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

A: It has helped some in marketing. It is being looked at by two production companies right now. What I need is an aggressive agent.

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

A: I am both an award winning artist and writer. I have published everything from short stories and articles, (mostly on pets and the Civil War), to a Civil War novel that was nominated for the 2003 Michael Shaara Award for Civil War Fiction. I have also written and had produced award wining stage plays one of which I was asked to turn into a short film for festival entry that was directed by Dennis Smith ASC in 2002 who is presently directing NCIS. He asked for a copy of my winning screenplay, which I sent as an attachment and just hope his secretary did not delete it. I have other scripts and a developed TV series "leave behind". I'd really like to go full time with my writing. While desperately chasing a "day job" I am marketing my winning script and working on a spec script for Movie Jigsaw.

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

A: No I do not live in Los Angeles and do not have any plans on moving there. With the internet, contests and a good agent if I find one I do not believe you have to live in Los Angeles. I would not cancel out a short trip if needed, but I do not like a city environment. I was born and raised in NJ then moved to Sedona AZ for nine years and am now in WV because of family reasons. I was in one freak 4.0 earthquake on the NJ coast in Asbury Park and do not care to experience a quake larger than that. LA is like a time bomb ticking away.

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

A: I am really serious about getting my winning script produced, not only to establish myself as a professional script writer but the Salem Raid is a historic story that needs to be told as is has been buried for too long by historians who think nothing of importance happened in West Virginia during the Civil War. Just reading the true account made me think "Why hasen't Hollywood found this story?"

I am working on a spec script for Movie Jigsaw another action adventure this time involving teens set adrift off the coast of CA after a boating accident. This is another story of survival. Seems I'm hitting a theme here.

Posted Friday, January 13, 2006