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Screenwriter Interviews

Writers: If you've finished first, second, or third in any screenwriting competition listed on MovieBytes, we'd like to interview you! First, make sure the contest results for the year you won are posted on MovieBytes, including your name, so we can verify your submission. Then submit our online interview form for that contest. We'll notify you via email when your interview has been posted.

MovieBytes Interview:

An interview with screenwriter NATASHA WILLIAMS regarding the Scriptapalooza TV Writing Competition.

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

A: I entered in the Reality Show category with a show concept called "Couple Up". I describe it as "Paradise Hotel" meets "The Love Boat" where two are better than one and no one wants to be the third wheel. I got the idea based on some situations I noticed just people watching while on a cruise.

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 Scriptapalooza TV because of the success some of the past winners had garnered. Also, I was looking for a contest that had a reality show category since I had four show ideas I wanted to pitch. The show idea that won 2nd place was actually going to be a pilot script but through the outline process, I thought it would make a great, fun, summer-type reality show so I gave it a shot and glad I did. So far, I haven't entered this particular show in any other contest because it's out to producers. One of my other reality show concepts was a finalist and the third was a quarterfinalist in the same contest. I guess I was on a roll.

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: Very satisfied with how they handled the winners. Prize monies were sent out straight away and also the requests from industry professionals. The administrators keep us informed and replied promptly to emails.

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

A: I spent a month creating the show to see what worked, what didn't, how to setup situations to enhance the drama; then I spent a couple weeks before the deadline to fine tune the details. Numerous drafts were written just to work out all the nuances since it's a game type of reality show. I had to make sure the rules were clear and how the show plays out was easy to understand and follow especially with how the elimination rounds work.

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

A: I used Microsoft Word for this particular project but I normally use Final Draft when I write standard screenplays.

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

A: I do not write every day but I do try to write 3 or 4 days every week. Each time I sit down to write, I usually write for 2 - 3 hours. If it's a weekend, I tend to write longer with breaks in between.

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

A: I don't really have writer's block. I usually have at least two different projects going at the same time so if I get stuck on one, I move on to the next. Or, I'll make a note to come back to a particular scene or a note as to what is missing then move on to write another scene. I'm using the sequence approach so it aids in being able to skip around and work on other elements of a story and not necessarily write linearly.

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

A: I have written several screenplays over the years. I have two credits on imdb.com and I've been optioned and have sold a script.

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

A: I live in Northern California. I don't have any immediate plans to move to LA but I do keep my options open.

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

A: I'm working on turning the reality show concept into a romantic comedy which was the original intent. Also, I'm rewriting a suspense script with paranormal elements set in Louisiana and an ebook.

Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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