Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter jason zimmatore

An interview with screenwriter jason zimmatore regarding the Acclaim Film Writing Competition.

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

A: "Deadline" , it's a feature-length thriller about a smug popular author whose world is turned upside down after a deranged literary critic steals his manuscript and kidnaps his daughter and forces him to perform dangerous and humiliating tasks in the name of art. Upon completion of each task the author gets a chapter of his manuscript. He must piece together his manuscript before the deadline or his daughter will die.

Deadline was named top runner-up "2nd Place" in the Acclaim Film 2006 contest.

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 Acclaim Film in '06 mainly because it had decent reviews on moviebytes and I could still make the deadline. I entered a couple of others Scriptapalooza etc, but never heard anything.

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: Contest was well run and the contest operator seemed genuinely passionate about nuturing writer's careers. Everything was delivered as promised.

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

A: There was a paragraph or two of feedback, which, while brief was useful.

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

A: Sure, I live in LA so I have some contacts, I know a producer who was all over the script after I told him about the win. He wants to option it. As part of the win did a mass email and I got a couple of requests, we'll see what happens. In the meantime I'm persuing it with various contacts.

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

A: A few years back I picked up a copy of the Hollywood Creative Directory and called various production companies offering my services as an unpaid reader (story analyst). I learned how to do the job from a book called "Reading for a Living". Then I did some free work for a small prod co on the Sony Lot, which led to a steady gig as a freelance story analyst at Turner Network Televison where I read hundreds of scripts and books. This really helped me and I developed (I think) a keen critical eye. Then I turned to writing my own scripts. My first efforts were rubbish, but I gradually got better. I've had a couple of options and an almost sale. I've won a couple of contests and this encouraged me to keep going.

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

A: Yes I live in Los Angeles.

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

A: I'm spending time developing concepts, I've got some thriller and comedy ideas. Some I will develop into scripts. Also some ideas for shorts, which for me is pure art.

Posted Thursday, November 23, 2006