Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter William Bienes

An interview with screenwriter William Bienes regarding the Abbreviated Screenplay Writing Competition.

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

A: Prisoner of Love is about passing on the love of jazz, America's art form.

James, a bright young man, dreams of becoming a “jazzman”. He hangs around Shoebox Rollins, listening every night to his street corner serenades, hoping to become his one and only student. Giving up his first love – music, for Ethel, his second, Daddy Sweet Keys returns to Harlem after 40 years gone, convincing Shoebox to pass on the love he never left.

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 the script into American Gem and The British Short Screenplay two years ago. It faired well in both, and was a finalist in Gimme Credit this year. I entered it into An Abbreviated for two reasons. Not only was the prospect of having the winning screenplay produced, exciting, I enjoyed their previous choices and thought their work on those productions was excellent.

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: I am very satisfied. They have already sent me numerous emails stating that production has begun and that the lead has been cast. They are delivering on all fronts.

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

A: I haven't received any direct feedback on the script as of yet, but it's early. It's being produced - that is great feedback, as far as I'm concerned.

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

A: The notification is not even a week old. It is too early in the process for contacts beyond the contest itself. One could only hope.

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

A: I played music professionally as a young man, but always wrote in high school and college. I focused on short story and playwriting. I stopped writing for 10 or so years (marriage + children = job stability). Project Greenlight 2 got me writing again. I took 2 weeks off from work to complete an idea that was buzzing around in my head. It was very difficult for me to complete the script, being it was my first attempt at a screenplay. I've written 2 features and 2 shorts.

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

A: I live in northwest New Jersey. I do not have any plans to move to Los Angeles. I don't feel that living in Los Angeles is a prerequisite to being a successful screenwriter... but since I'm not a successful screenwriter, I could be wrong about that.

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

A: I am working on a few scripts, as well as research for ideas that I hope will become scripts.

Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2007