Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Dan OBrien

An interview with screenwriter Dan OBrien regarding the Free Screenplay Writing Competition.

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

A: "Rube" is the true story of a mentally-challenged man who becomes a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher as well as the game's biggest box office star and the most colorful character in the history of American Sports.

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 this particular contest because it was free but was pleased with the administration and, obviously, the results more than many paid submissions. I've submitted to several competitions and have advanced to the later rounds. "Rube" is currently in the finals of the Phillyscriptfest contest.

For more information on my script and Rube Waddell, visit my website,

Q: Were you satisfied with the administration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: As noted above, I was satisfied with the administration of the contest and the communication from Cherub Productions.

Q: How long did it take you to write the script? Did you write an outline beforehand? How many drafts did you write?

A: That's impossible to say. I spent several years researching Rube's life and was constantly outlining in my mind before I put anything on paper (or computer). The script has probably gone through 3-4 relatively major revisions but countless tweaks.

Q: What kind of software did you use to write the script, if any? What other kinds of writing software do you use?

A: Scriptware for Windows.

Q: Do you write every day? How many hours per day?

A: I write and research for several hours every day but not all is related to this particular screenplay.

Q: Do you ever get writer's block? If so, how do you deal with that?

A: That can vary. Sometimes I attempt to plow through, realizing major revisions will be required later. At other times it seems helpful to just "walk away" for a period. Solutions to problems often come when not trying to hard to think about. "Why didn't I think of that before?" is a frequent sentiment.

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

A: I have degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri. Although "Rube" is my first screenplay I have written and produced several documentaries and special programming for local television. One of my documentaries received worldwide distribution. I have co-authored two books with two good friends you might know: Todd Donoho, former sportscaster at KABC-TV in Los Angeles and Mark May, the former Washington Redskin "Hog" and current college football analyst for ESPN.

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

A: I live in the Indianapolis area and have no immediate plans to relocate.

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

A: I have researched several topics for future scripts. I'm in the process of developing outlines. Given my journalism background, my love of history and my talent for research I prefer to pursue the many incredible true stories which have not been told or are long-forgotten.

Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2011