Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Matt Tolbert

An interview with screenwriter Matt Tolbert 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: THE STARTER MARRIAGE is about a pair of twenty-something friends agree to get married for a year so they can make and learn from all of the mistakes that lead to divorce while in a marriage that “doesn’t count.”

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 saw the high ratings in Moviebytes and people on the message board also had good things to say about it. Plus, my dad runs ScriptVamp, (kidding).

Other contests and results: Nicholl- top 15%; Page- 2nd round; Screenplay Festival- Semifinalist; Screenplay Expo- Semifinalist; wife liked it.

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: Yes, yes and you betcha. Very satisfied. Excellent communication and awards came quickly. Thanks Dad. (Kidding, remember)?

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

A: Three months to write the script and six months of revisions. It was my first.

Had an outline, scene cards, character desciptions, pictures of possible actors and prayer beads.

Too many drafts. I could still be revising it now but I have to move on. My new child needs my attention now. I used Extreme Screenwriting and Proof Edge. Well worth it.

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

A: Final Draft. Love it but find the name of the company deceiving!

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

A: I wish I wrote every day. I prefer to sit down for 4-8 hours at a time. I'll do rewrites when my wife is at the gym or shopping. However, she's catching on since the lawn hasn't been mowed in 3 years.

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

A: I have never had writer's block. I lack writer's block of time to write.

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

A: I'm a comic-book published, comic-strip syndicated, greeting-card produced, short story and poetry printed writer with facial hair. My portfolio includes: Syndicated comic strips Comic books Fantasy and science fiction short stories Non-fiction short story Poetry Greeting cards and e-cards Songs in a Kevin Costner embarrassing movie, “Sizzle Beach USA” Gags for syndicated comic strips

Check out www.mtolbert.com for samples of my work. Good reads for when you can't sleep at night.

I have written two other screenplays: TIN GODS, a political robot-fighting science fiction and MAN(NY) VERUSU MACHINE, a slapstick comedy about a guy fighting with appliances.

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

A: Lived in L.A., (if you can call it that). Not unless the money is good.

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

A: Currently working on a drama script that is taking longer than planned due to the demands of the lawn and wife.

Posted Sunday, May 13, 2012

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