Screenwriter Buddy Baron
An interview with screenwriter Buddy Baron regarding the Nevada Film Office Writing Competition.Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?
A: BACKSTAGE PASSENGERS
Sonny Day is a country singer who once had a hit record. A long time ago. Now he needs to scrape together $3000 to get him and his band to an important showcase gig in Las Vegas, ahead of a slick, yet soulless, rival music group. In desperation, he rents out a 7 day ride-along on his tour bus to a vacationing family of four looking for ‘adventure’.
A: I won the Nevada Film Office Screenwriting Competition once before, in 1999...with a script called DOUBLE DOWN.
I entered BACKSTAGE PASSENGERS in the Nevada Film Office Screenwriting Competition in 2009, but did not win. (It did make it to the Quarter-Finals of the Zoetrope Screenplay Contest that year) The 2009 Nevada Contest DID send a comprehensive score sheet and some strong notes, which I used to re-write the script and re-enter in 2012, and then I won!
A: Oh, yes. Danette Tull runs the contest and is extremely friendly and capable. She phoned me right after New Year's Day with the news, which I so prefer over getting her courteous, but disappointing 'you didn't win' letter in 2009.
Prizes are on the way. It's just been a few days since I won.
A: It took about 60 days to get this one done originally in 2009.
Yes, I always outline. This story had a fairly large cast and I did bios on each character. I work in radio, hosting a country music morning show, so I've spent quite a bit of time interviewing singers aboard their tour buses, so I was familiar with the setting.
I think I did about 5 drafts before entering it in 2009. As I said, I used the notes from the losing effort in 2009 to re-write the script twice more in 2012 and re-enter it. I dropped two sequences that dragged and merged a couple of characters that were already well-represented by other characters in the story.
A: Movie Magic Screenwriter.
When I won for DOUBLE DOWN in 1999, the software was my prize from the Nevada Film Office. I've upgraded to the newer versions twice.
A: I write every day. Usually in the evenings between 7-10 pm.Q: Do you ever get writer's block? If so, how do you deal with that?
A: I don't usually get blocked. If I get stuck, it usually means I don't really care for what I'm working on.
I always have at least 15-20 other ideas/outlines I can turn to...so I work on something else for a while, then return to the logjam a few days later. Usually, if I get away from the thing I'm stuck on for a bit, new ideas flow once I return.
A: I've been in radio for many, many years as a deejay and morning show host. For 13 years, I wrote a syndicated comedy feature that ran on 200 radio stations. I wrote jokes for several years for the late, great Phyllis Diller (I do miss her).
I've written 17 spec movie scripts, all comedies. Still waiting to get that first deal made.
A: I don't live in Los Angeles. In radio, you have to go where the work is, and currently, for me, that's in Southern Mississippi.
I'd love to live in Southern California, but I'd never move there without lining up a broadcasting job first, which is even harder than getting a script sold!
A: I have 4 fresh outlines blinking at me from my 'new ideas' file. Haven't decided which one I'll tackle first.
I've been approached to adapt a biography of a former Mississippi beauty queen who once knew Elvis, but the deal is pending.
I've got a new website up: sites.google.com/site/buddybaroncomedyscreenwriter/home and I'm pretty happy with it, but anxious to add some new scripts to it.
Posted Friday, January 11, 2013