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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 Patricia Fox

An interview with screenwriter Patricia Fox regarding the Divebomber Writing Competition.

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

A: Anatomy of a Town. It's about the Chief of Police in a small town who has to solve the murder of a woman who turns out to be his half-sister while he also resolves the case of a young girl who was murdered when the chief was heavily into his drinking obsession and he was unable to successfully investigate. It's a redemption story for the chief in both cases.

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

A: A writer friend of mine suggested it, Russ Meyer, who ended up coming in third in the contest. I've entered this script into a number of other contests and done okay with it. I was a finalist for the Champion screenwriting contest, the Santa Fe Writers Place contest, the IFP-MN screenwriting grant. I was a quarter finalist in the International Page Awards and the Austin Film Festival.

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 contest team has been absolutely fantastic. If I had a question I'd get a response within a couple of hours. They've kept me posted about all the steps along the way. It's been a terrific experience.

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 first started writing the script 7 years ago, I finished the first draft in a few weeks and became a finalist for a local screenwriting grant. I set it aside, worked on many other projects, picked it up three years ago and starting rewriting. I always work with an outline and several diagrams . As far as drafts are concerned, I would say about ten. By draft, I mean more rewriting than just spell check and tweaking a sentence here and there. I mean major story line changes, character changes, name changes etc.

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 Scriptware and Final Draft. Scriptware was the very first software I got way back in 1998 (before there was an industry-standard) and it's been hard for me to let go of because it's just what I know and what I'm comfortable working with. I used Scriptware to write Anatomy of a Town.

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

A: I write constantly as part of my day job but as far as creatively, it's about four days a week but I'm trying to put a more aggressive writing schedule together because this is what I love. I want to be writing everyday. On a day I'm writing, it's usually a three to four hour session.

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

A: Certainly, there are times when I'm trying to figure something out with the logic of the story and it's just not happening. I go for long walks and try to not think about the logic of the story and a lot of times a solution will come when I step away from it (literally) and look at it from a distance. When I think of other elements of the story: location, secondary characters, backstory etc. then a lot of times something will jump out of me and I'll think, "That's so obvious, I can't believe I didn't think to do that before."

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

A: I went to the University of Minnesota where I studied English Creative Writing, screenwriting, film history and film criticism. I have written a total of twelve screenplays so far.

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

A: I don't currently live in Los Angeles but I would move there if it would make sense for my writing career.

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

A: I am working on a new script. I just finished the second draft. It's a higher concept idea that will hopefully be of interest to people as well.

Posted Monday, February 14, 2011

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