Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Kim Townsel

An interview with screenwriter Kim Townsel 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: JET LAG is the story of two functioning substance abusers who fall in love despite their many differences.

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 liked that ACCLAIM was based in Florida. I had just moved from California back to Alabama. JET LAG made its maiden voyage into contest land in 2006 and won ACCLAIM and placed in Screenplay Festival, Austin, PAGE International, WriteMovies/TalentScout, and Scriptapalooza. The novel version of JET LAG, which I wrote prior to the screenplay, placed in the WriteMovies/TalentScout.

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. Frank Drouzas emailed me and was very complimentary of the script. He was always responsive to any question I had. I believe I had the check within a week's time. JET LAG was placed on InkTip and had exposure to hundreds of companies.

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

A: I can't remember about the feedback. Sorry, I am about two years behind my correspondence. I truly just now read feedback from another 2006 contest.

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

A: I wasn't contacted by anyone to market or move JET LAG; it's LEAVING LAS VEGAS crashes into A STAR IS BORN. Some extraordinarily passionate people will have to push this project. I knew that when I began submitting it. I am just thrilled that Frank and other contest directors and readers "get" the story. The subject matter is pretty gritty. I feel like I let ACCLAIM down by not giving them a box-office baby but I am so proud of them for promoting independent visions.

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

A: I'm a National Board Certified teacher with a 4.0 Master's who was married to a long hair Los Angeles musician& but all that happened after I wrote JET LAG. In 1998, I was living in Alabama and supposed to be working on my Master's. My kids kept playing Alice in Chains and Soundgarden while I wrote philosophy papers, and the muse vomited JET LAG on me. I word-processed it and shoved it under the bed. When I moved to California, I got involved in a writing group. They made me cry when I brought the first 10 pages of JET LAG to the group, but their advice improved it. Over the next three years, I brought ten pages a week. Then a producer friend read the novel and suggested I write it in screenplay format as well.

I wrote VITAMIN SEX which placed in American Zoetrope and Screenplay Festival in 2006. I cowrote DREAMWEAVER with the ex. My first script. CLEAN LIVIN', is based on experiences from when my family owned a cleaning service.

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

A: I loved in Los Angeles for five wonderful years. I would love to move back someday. Right now, I'm in the middle of the woods trying to stay out of the deer's way.

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

A: I'm working on a thriller called PRETTY, in which a trophy wife is being loved to death& literally. I'm adapting my young adult novel into a screenplay. "The Wettest Spring" is about a middle school boy dealing with puberty, percentages, and preteen females. I'm also working on another teen screenplay that's a big secret story . . . shhhhh.

My interview with the fabulous writing team of LEGALLY BLOND, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, and THE HOUSE BUNNY will soon appear in MovieBytes. I'll continue to interview people more famous and talented than I am.

This summer I've become addicted to writing flash fiction and my story, "The Light Man," will appear in Glossolalia.

Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2008