Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Annas Eskander

An interview with screenwriter Annas Eskander regarding the ScriptVamp/Attention Grabber Writing Competition.

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

A: "The Ascendant" is a sci-fi, future noir in the vein of "Blade Runner" and "Gattaca". It's about an emotionally damaged school teacher, in her last bid to give meaning to her life, becomes an anti-government operative to help members of a civil rights group escape from a high tech 'Big Brother' monitoring system. In the process of hacking into the government's database, she discovers she is the illegitimate daughter of an influential political figure and experiences genetic sexual attraction.

My reason for writing "The Ascendant" was that there isn't enough internal conflict, sci-fi films geared towards a female audience. With the success of the "Twilight" franchise and "The Hunger Games", there is a serious market out there.

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 attended a Euroscript class, "Writing the First Ten Pages - Getting Past the Reader", with Laurence Gouldbourne. He was familiar with my script and suggested I enter into ScriptVamp's Attention Grabber Contest.

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: Team ScriptVamp replied promptly to a query I had and they emailed the scorecard and the list of winners ahead of schedule. Overall, a very professional service with great feedback. I have received most of the awards that were promised, I'm just waiting for the certificate of excellence to arrive by mail.

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 have a complete structured outline that I'm working to.

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've been taught to program Microsoft Word so it follows the standardised format for a script. It's straightforward and easy to use.

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

A: I make a point of spending at least an hour each day as it's easier this way to keep the momentum going. I normally lose track of time and end up writing for 4 hours on average... I work full time during the day, so this is my night job.

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

A: I take out scraps of paper and start thinking through the overall structure of the story or scenes. In addition to this, I normally read a script a week and watch movies as educational tools. I also read a lot of novels and books for research and to continually improve my writing skills.

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

A: I'm currently working as a fashion designer with over ten year's of experience working for the UK retail stores.

"The Ascendant" is my first script after studying at the Metropolitan Film School in London.

I attend the London Screenwriters' Festival and classes provided by Euroscript.

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

A: I live in London at the moment. If given the right opportunity, I would definitely consider moving to Los Angeles.

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

A: I'm working on completing "The Ascendant" by the end of August 2013. After which, I'm thinking of turning it into a e-novel as I've had a lot of interest from people, especially women, wanting to read it.

Posted Thursday, February 14, 2013