Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Russell Meyer

An interview with screenwriter Russell Meyer regarding the Contest of Contest Winners Writing Competition.

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

A: JENNA'S GONE. When the waitress they both love goes missing, the friendship of a young untried deputy and an exceptional hunting guide is strained as the two track across the desert after the kidnapper, both suspecting the other of a role in her disappearance.

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

A: What drew my attention to The Contest Of Contest Winners was the raised bar. Every script entered has already done well in another contest.

JENNA'S GONE has been entered in other contests. It won Best Drama Script in the Screenplay Search Screenwriting Competition, 3rd Place - Divebomber Radio Movie Script Contest, 4th Place - Skyfest Screenwriting Contest, and The Bare Bones Film Festival, Top 5 finalist - Minnesota Screenwriters Workshop 'Leave 'Em Hooked' Contest, Top 7 finalist - The Screenwriters Conference in Santa Fe Killer First Page Contest, Top 8 finalist - Award Winning Screenwriters Screenplay Competition, Top 20 finalist, Script PIMP Screenwriting Competition, Semi-finalist - The Writers On The Storm Contest, Quarter-finalist - The Nicholl Fellowship Competition, and NexTV Writing & Pitch Competition, and an Official Script Selection at The Action On Film - 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: I am more than satisfied with the administration of the contest. The change in contests, to offering feedback from their judges, did slow judging in a lot of contests. The Contest Of Contest Winners kept us apprised of their revised schedule. Yes, I've received all the awards - the Final Draft Version 8 download, the $500 cash prize, pages of notes from the judges, and the ScriptDoctor's unique set of 'from the inside out' in-depth notes, a CD which goes even farther into details, and the marked up script. All of which was most helpful. I also had the opportunity to speak with Howard Allen, the ScriptDoctor himself.

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 lost track. It was over a dozen drafts over two years. I did outline, but since the crux of the story is the personalities and unraveling friendship of the two leads, there was a lot of the story that did not appear in the original outline.

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

A: This script was written on Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000. I also use Final Draft, and started writing on Scriptware.

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

A: I do, now that I'm a full-time writer. Between writing, research, and script groups, it's a full eight hour plus day.

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

A: I work around it, approach it from a different angle, or switch to another project for a while.

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

A: I studied screenwriting with Dan Decker, Durrell Royce Crays, and Steve Larson. Four of my feature scripts have won seven screenwriting competitions. I started writing television last year, and those spec scripts are just starting to go out to competitions.

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

A: In February I was writing in Florida, right now I'm in Minnesota, and this month I'll be in L.A. My motto is: 'Have pen, will travel' wherever the writing takes me.

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

A: Working with my agent, Joe Florance of Circle of 10 Talent, on marketing JENNA'S GONE, polishing my next thriller script, THE PIPER, and deciding between a couple low budget thrillers, and a tent pole idea for my next script.

Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2011