Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview: Claire Hutchinson

An interview with Claire Hutchinson regarding the Faith and Values Writing Competition.

Q: Who sponsors this contest, and what is their background in the industry? When was the contest founded?

A: The main sponsor of the contest is Ambassador Communications Inc., which has been the publisher of the Christian Screenwriters' Newsletter for the past two years. This newsletter is filled with faith and feature articles, interviews, leads, trade and marketing tips to help Christian screenwriters succeed in the industry. The person behind the newsletter is Claire Hutchinson, M.A., writer of eight screenplays and three plays and co-writer of two soundtracks. Claire's background includes a Master's degree in English (Manitoba), a Feature Film Writing Certificate (UCLA) and a Certificate in The Professional Program in Screenwriting (UCLA). She was the co-judge of the 2002 Christian Screenplay Competition. Other sponsors include the noted companies: Scriptcopier.com, Deepfeedback.com, Hollywoodlitsales.com, FaithWriters.com and Soyouwannasellascript.com. These all have been in the entertainment industry for a number of years. This is the first year of the contest.

Q: What role do you play personally in the adminstration of the contest?

A: I am the contest co-ordinator, marketer, and judge of the contest.

Q: Have any of the winning scripts from the contest been sold or produced?

A: The contest closing date is January 15, 2007. We will let you know if any of them are sold or produced.

Q: Who judges the early rounds of the competition? What are their qualifications? Who judges the final rounds?

A: The early rounds are judged by myself. I have studied every area of literature and I've studied feature film, and been a judge of a previous Christian screenplay contest. The final rounds will be judged by Pure Flix and Numenorean Films with possibly Distillery Pictures helping out.

Q: Do the early-round judges read the entire script, or do they stop after a certain number of pages?

A: All scripts will be read from start to finish.

Q: Are the judges looking for any specific type of script? Are scripts of a certain genre more likely to do well?

A: We are looking for faith and values based writing, which means either overt evangelistic messages, Christian and biblical stories, or stories which deal with issues from a biblical perspective or mention the bible or the Christian faith at some points in the story.

Q: What do you do promote your winning writers, and to publicize their scripts?

A: We have 10 companies reading the winning scripts including Fox Faith, and we have a WGA agent Terry Porter who will consider the winners for representation. With an agent, it will be much easier to get the script into the right hands, as Terry can get the script to companies that writers without an agent couldn't get into. We also have Soyouwannasellascript.com which is donating their marketing services to the winners. Emails will also be sent out to lists that I have publicizing the winners.

Q: What advice can you offer to writers entering your contest?

A: Write from a Christian and biblical perspective. Make sure the writing is top notch, because producers want a good story well told.

Posted Friday, December 8, 2006