Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter John Alarid

An interview with screenwriter John Alarid regarding the Worldfest - Houston Writing Competition.

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

A: AND SO IT IS - a dramatic supernatural thriller about a 9/11-widowed father who regains his faith when he discovers that his prayers create instant results and media attention. He agrees to participate in a CIA project that studies paranormal abilities and discovers that he’s been recruited into a top-secret new age psychic hit squad that uses prayer as a means to eliminate the enemy.

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 AND SO IT IS in the WorldFest Houston Writing Competition because I had heard lots of greats things about the festival. I also felt that since I am originally from Texas and my story is a about a Texas family that I just might meet some fellow Texans interested in producting my screenplay.

A couple of years ago, my first draft of AND SO IT IS was a Semifinalist in the Moondance Film Festival. A rewrite got me a Bronze Remi Award for Dramatic-Original Screenplay at the WorldFest-Houston. (The key to writing is rewriting.)

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: Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed the World-Fest Houston and I'll probably return because it was a safe, friendly enviornment to network. Hunter Todd and his folks did a marvelous job. But, I was disappointed with administrated part of it. Communications were terribly lacking.

For whatever reason, I never received a letter informing me that both scripts that I had entered, AND SO IT IS and A KODAK MOMENT, had made the Finals. In fact, when I got there to registered, I enquired as to the status of my entries but no one had a clue. In fact, I enquired several times but no one could figure it out.

To my surprise, the morning of the awards ceremony, I received an e-mail informing me that I had won a Bronze Remi Award (Third Place) for my script AND SO IT IS and that my other script A KODAK MOMENT had made the Finals but it didn't place. I was informed that my Remi Award would be mailed to me.

I immediately informed some of the staff that I was a Bronze Remi Award winner and asked if it was possible to be presented with my award durning the Awards Presentation. Once again, for whatever reasons, the communications process broke down and I had to wait until I returned to LA to receive my award.

Other than the communication break downs the festival was a blast. And as I mentioned earlier, I will be returning simply because it was so much fun.

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

A: No feedback was given on my scripts.

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

A: So far, I haven't received any phone calls or e-mails from agents, managers or producers asking to read my material. But, while attending the conference I did meet a couple of producers who asked me to send them my material. As of today, June 4th, I haven't received a response one way or another. I keep you posted.

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

A: I am a Golden Mike and Emmy Award winning Editor for NBC in Burbank, California. I have written six feature film screenplays and one manuscript. I enjoy writing what-if conspiracy thrillers and quirky romantic dramedies.

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

A: I live in beautiful downtown Burbank.

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

A: The Moondance Film Festival is next on my agenda. My script A KODAK MOMENT, a what if conspiracy thriller about a fiery young woman, relegated to writing obits for the Dallas Morning News who sees the faces of JFK's five assassins on a forty-three-year-old roll of film, made the Finals. The winners will be announced on Sunday, June 11th.

In the meantime, I'm working on action sci-fi thriller about a Native American computer whiz who uncovers the biggest government/military alien cover-up when he accidentally accesses top-secret files proving the existence of the Hopi Ant People.

Posted Monday, June 5, 2006