Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Russell Meyer

An interview with screenwriter Russell Meyer regarding the TrindieFest Writing Competition.

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

A: PAPER TRAIL is a mystery thriller about an ex-army M.P. who sets out to become a P.I. in Paper Trail, Colorado, a place that seems not to have changed since when he visited there as a kid. His first case reveals a town full of secrets, including one that destroyed his family years before.

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 liked that Trindiefest judges scripts and films by individual genres.

PAPER TRAIL also won 3rd place in the Divebomber Radio Screenwriting Contest. Finalist in the Bare Bones Film Festival and Three Lines Or Less Screenwriting Contest. Semi-finalist in the Fade In Awards 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: This is the first year for Trindiefest. Both the contest and the film festival were well run. Everyone was friendly, and a good time was had by all.

Received a plaque for thriller genre winner, and a bronze western sculpture (remindful of a Remington, or perhaps a Mitchell design?) for overall ‘Best In Show’ screenplay. Also received a Query Submission Service prize from Venice Arts. Thanks again to everyone!

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

A: Usually I write a short story version first, to see where the story takes me. Research and first draft was about three months. So far there’s been a couple dozen drafts, but rewriting’s never over ‘til it’s over.

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 was used on this script. I also use Final Draft, especially for novellas.

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

A: Nearly every day. Aim for eight hours a day, including research.

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

A: I get writer’s farsightedness. Once in a while I can’t see, when it’s right in front of me, what still needs improvement when I finish a draft. I put that script away, start a new one, then when I pull the draft back out, it is easier to spot trouble spots in the script.

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

A: I worked for the Post Office before taking up screenwriting fulltime. Studied screenwriting with Dan Decker, Durrell Royce Crays, and Steve Larson. I’ve won nine screenwriting contests with six scripts.

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

A: I don’t live in Los Angeles, but in the last two years my screenwriting has taken me to Florida, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Colorado, and California. My motto is: Have pen, will travel.

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

A: I’m writing a graphic novel version of one of my completed scripts. Also doing a first draft dramedy, with a NETWORK feel, only lighter.

Posted Monday, October 1, 2012