Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter April Wright

An interview with screenwriter April Wright regarding the Open Door/Script Magazine Writing Competition.

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

A: THE MULE - it's an action/thriller about an ambitious young DEA agent who gets her dream undercover assignment when several young female drug mules turn up dead in Miami, but finds the only way she can bring down the smuggling ring is to become a mule herself. When a heroin pellet inside her body starts to leak, it becomes a race to stop the big shipment before she becomes the next dead mule. It's kind of a cross between Miami Vice and Maria Full of Grace.

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 targeted this specific contest because it was reputable and I knew people have heard of Script magazine. Also it was sponsored by Energy Entertainment who I knew had developed and produced commercial material in my genre.

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: Totally. Script magazine was prompt with communications; the prizes helped sustain me as a writer and gave me a push to continue.

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

A: Yes. I received notes from the contest sponsor and from other producers and agents who requested the script. It's been through several rewrites since the version that won the contest and is a much better script due to the notes I received.

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

A: It definitely opened some doors. I didn't actively market the script immediately because I knew it needed further rewriting and development, but it's helped to open doors for other material of mine including having a script produced last year called "Dead in the Water." We will soon be signing with a distributer for a DVD release of this lower budget horror/thriller that I wrote and stayed on as a producer.

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

A: I came out of business working at corporate jobs. I actually have an MBA. But I always loved movies and started looking into writing about 5-6 years ago. Now I've been focused on filmmaking full time for the past 4 years - I'm presently working on a documentary about drive-in movie theaters, producing short films for friends, and writing new scripts. I'm also involved with screening submissions for Sundance, the LA Film Festival and AFI Fest.

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

A: Yes. I'm originally from Chicago, but I moved to LA many years before I started getting involved with the film industry.

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

A: Yes - I have a new script called NO EXIT which is a horror Groundhog Day and seems like an appropriate follow-up to DEAD IN THE WATER (www.deadinthewatermovie.com). A short film I wrote and produced called A FRIENDLY GAME will be screening in September at the LA International Shorts Fest at the Arclight (www.lashortsfest.com). I'm in the midst of principal photography on my documentary GOING ATTRACTIONS: The Rise and Fall of the Drive-in as an American Icon (www.driveindoc.com) and have other scripts in development and writing assignments I'm being considered for. It's gotten pretty busy over the last year or so since winning the contest.

Posted Wednesday, August 9, 2006