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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 Grant Reid

An interview with screenwriter Grant Reid regarding the Wildsound 1st Scene Writing Competition.

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

A: 'My Last Duchess' is about the power that jealousy has in humans to turn the strongest feelings of love into possession. Alexander and Catherine have been happily married for single-digit years, but paranoia sets in for Alexander when recently single neighbour Thomas begins to spend more time with Catherine. It's adapted from a poem I loved in high school of the same name by Robert Browning.

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: This was the first contest I'd entered. I think the majority of my screenplays have strong first scenes and so it was logical that I enter myself into the First Scene Festival. I will continue to work on the rest of the story and hopefully send it everywhere I can.

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: I certainly wasn't promised a winning submission, so that was a great bonus! The best thing for a writer is to get feedback- not just to be told 'that was good' but honest and constructive feedback. That's what WILDsound offer. It was a good experience having individuals from overseas have a different perspective on my work.

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

A: For the page-and-a-half script it went through maybe six or seven drafts before I was happy with it. I was told once by a producer that the most important page of a script is the first, so I like to take extra care with it. Altogether though I wrote it in a week under the sun in Portugal.

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

A: Fade In is a much cheaper alternative to the industry-standard Final Draft and very easy to use. Having a good writing software motivates you to writing more in my opinion.

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

A: I don't write every day, or I'd suffer from burnout, but I'm always thinking about my scripts and taking notes about characters, plot and such. When I do sit down at my laptop though it has to be for a long, undisturbed period of time. Usually at night.

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

A: I think every writer does. It's best to take a break from writing and go back to it with fresh eyes. Once you read it over again after a day or two you get a clearer idea of where you want to take it. But if there's a problem in the script you can't get round you should really be thinking, 'does it have to be in there?'.

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

A: I study a scriptwriting module at university in Glasgow, Scotland and hope to enrol in the increasingly prestigious MATV course at Glasgow Caledonian University. I have a backload of scripts and ideas across different computers, USB drives and notepads.

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

A: There have been some massive successes from Scotland in L.A., so why not?

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

A: I'm always working on something, or more than one project at a time. I have a very industrious attitude towards scriptwriting.

Posted Monday, January 19, 2015

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