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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:
Screenwriter Victor Cummings

An interview with screenwriter Victor Cummings regarding the ScriptVamp/Feature Writing Competition.

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

A: “HIGH LIFT” is a high action science fiction drama that uses space elevators as its setting, and recovery of our ecosystem as its theme.

Space elevator engineer Gordon Welkin witnesses a horrific accident in space. Gordon returns in limited capacity to his job on the High Lift space station after recuperating, but returns to greater stressors.

He must save the High Lift elevator and the atmospheric shield to prevent the earth from rapid and devastating climate change when its operation is threatened by a splinter group of an environmental movement.

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 ScriptVamp Feature contest, because it is a contest accepting Science fiction as listed on MovieBytes. It was listed in significant contests in this genre. We have entered Page International in the past, and scored well, but did not win.

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: The stated deadlines of this contest were either met or exceeded. We were promptly notified at each stage along the way and received comments and scorecards in a timely manner.

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

A: High Lift was in the works for approximately 4 years. It underwent too many drafts for me to count. At the time of the final drafts for this contest, I was commuting on the train, and made 10 passes for revisions in the final stages alone. An outline for the plot was written as well as character outlines, and these were also modified several times.

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 use Final Draft for screenwriting now, but started writing High Lift using Microsoft word. I have a utility I use for outlining that I wrote myself in Java that manipulates the file that Final Draft outputs.

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

A: When I finished writing High Lift, I was writing for about 2 to 3 hours per day. A new job and a job move from Pennsylvania to South Carolina has prevented me from writing every day, but I will return to that shortly.

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

A: I can't say that I have had an extended period of writer's block. The only thing that has really blocked me from writing is the need to pay bills or get the taxes out before April 15.

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

A: I have some past background in acting and in theater, and have been learning the large differences between screenwriting and playwrighting. I was a student at Circle in the Square Professional Workshop on Broadway years ago. There I acted in play readings on a Broadway subscriber's stage. I have written 2 one act plays. I also have written two other screenplays, both of which are still under revision. "That Damned Burrito" - a dark comedy - will be finished soon. I am also working on a sequel to High Lift. In addition, I have written a number of theater reviews for newspaper.

I met my co-author Dr. Bryan E. Laubscher when I went back to undergraduate school to study astrophysics at the university of New Mexico. He was my teaching assistant in astronomy lab and later was in my Radio Astrophysics class. High Lift was a medium that allowed me to join both my technical and my creative sides.

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

A: I have traveled and worked all over the US as well as in Brazil and in Lebanon while in the US Navy. I would love to go to Los Angeles if my writing warrants it.

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

A: I am currently working on a dark comedy "That Damned Burrito", and will also re-write my first screenplay. I plan to write a sequel to High Lift with my friend and associate, Dr. Bryan E. Laubscher that already some scenes and outlines in the making.

Posted Sunday, May 13, 2012

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