Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Stephen M. Hunt

An interview with screenwriter Stephen M. Hunt regarding the Fresh Voices Feature Writing Competition.

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

A: Preciious Vengeance - after SS officers rape and murder his two daughters, a Polish Jew exacts incredible veneance on The Third Reich.

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've heard nothing but good things about Fresh Voices and their competition is well-respected. In addition to becoming category winners contestants also have the chance to win Spotlight Awards. In my case, I've won first place in the "drama" category and picked up the "Best Foreign Screenplay" Spotlight Award.

In addition Fresh Voices, I have entered other competitions including; Los Angeles Screenplay Competitiion (finalist, 4th) Filmmakers Awards (currently quarter finalist, semi's announced tomorrow) Bare Bones Film Festival (quarter finalist).

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: There may well be better run contests but I don't know of any. There's no question in my mind that Fresh Voices will deliver on their promises.

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 got the idea for Precious Vengeance in July 2010. I've lost count of the drafts I've written and also of how many times I've said "It's finished!" The last time I made serious changes was in February 2013. I wrote an outline first to keep me focused on where I was going whilst remaining open to how I might get there. I submit all my work for independent analysis and covergae reports. I'm a grafter not a genius and too close to the work to assess it dispationately. Whenever I've bought feedback from readers employed by the organisation where they gained their script reading qualification, my work is rubbished. However, when I submit work to seasoned professionals who have worked for studios etc, the feedback is honest, pulls no punches and is inspirational.

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 Final Draft.

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

A: I work when I feel like it and that's most days and at any hour. I never force myself to write if I'm not in the mood.

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

A: I frequently have problems to solve along the lines of knowing what needs to happen next but need time to work it all out. It's like playing chess - which I've always liked. If a problem takes a lot of thinking about then that's fine, it's all part of the process. I don't think I've ever had writer's block.

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

A: I'm a produced and published English playwright. My productions have frequently featured Roayl Shakespeare Company actors either as actors or directors. My most rewarding achievement was an award winning, ten theatre tour around London that got five and four star reviews.

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

A: I live in rural, South West France. I'd be happy to work in LA but I'd have to like it better than France to live there for keeps.

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

A: I've plans for several projects including a Sci-fi piece, a hard-nosed-chick-flick, an ancient Egyptian epic and I've started a sequel to Precious Vengeance. All of which has been side-lined by a new idea; an adolescent Native American girl takes on the FBI, NCIS, MOSAD and MI6 and beats them all.

Posted Thursday, March 14, 2013