Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Michael Gibrall

An interview with screenwriter Michael Gibrall regarding the Spirit Quest Writing Competition.

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

A: "Available" is a romantic comedy. A college student inherits a billboard sign business and inadvertently advertises her dating status when trying to sell ad space.

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 was looking for a festival or competition that accepted the romantic comedy genre. This particular festival is devoted towards inspirational or uplifiting screenplays, religiously affiliated or not. Since the script is both uplifting and inspirational, as well as a romantic comedy, I decided to give Spirit Quest a try.

The script was originally written for the first annual Action on Film Festival Writers' Challenge. This competition is for alumni only, where the winner will get the script produced into a film with a budget of $100,000. "Available" was a semifinalist.

Spirit Quest is one of the first competitions I entered "Available" after Action on Film. Other festival and competition results are pending.

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: Yes, I am very satisfied. Deadlines for notifications of semifinalists, finalists, and the eventual winner were met as promised. While I am not able to attend the festival, I was asked on the same day of notification of the win to supply the festival with my mailing address so the award could be shipped to me.

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 wrote this script in a month. There was no outline done, as I already had an idea of where I wanted to go with this story. I wrote three drafts.

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

A: Movie Magic Screenwriter.

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

A: Not every day. It depends on my schedule. If I do write during the day, it can vary how many hours I work on the project.

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

A: I'm not sure I'd call it writer's block. I find if I just take a day or two away from writing, what I ultimately want in the story comes to me.

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

A: I've written other feature screenplays, one of which has won three best feature screenplay awards, and one that has been nominated for best feature screenplay twice. I've also written a teleplay for a children's tv pilot that I've produced and directed, as well as a short for a comedy group based in Las Vegas, and a brand new short I've just completed and placed on the festival circuit.

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

A: No, I live in VA. But I would have no problem moving if the situation was right.

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

A: I'm working with another writer on a horror comedy, while also working on a science fiction script as well as a suspense thriller.

Posted Friday, April 13, 2012