Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Michael Sieve

An interview with screenwriter Michael Sieve regarding the Wildsound Writing Competition.

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

A: Rum House is about a tormented alcoholic recounting his strange, often sexual experiences with women as he struggles to come to terms with consequences from his past that led to his shameful isolation.

It puts a lot of focus on the nature of failed relationships and the want for the closure that most often never comes.

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

A: The feedback element was first and foremost a factor. I have, from time to time, paid for the optional feedback in some competitions and found it to be incredibly helpful. WildSound's feedback doesn't cost extra and it was remarkably insightful. It really helped me to turn the script around, to make it a more viable and readable product.

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: Absolutely. The staff, Matthew especially, followed through on everything. They were very accessible. I have won a number of festivals, including for best script, but have never had this much personal interaction with a competition.

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 put my second draft into the festival initially. It came back to me with the feedback. I made the recommended changes with the 3rd draft and put it back in and won. All in all, it took about a month to write. About a week or so per draft.

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

A: Scrivener. The storyboard element with this software has such appeal and really helps me to visualize the layout of the story.

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

A: Yes. Most every day. Sometimes as little as an hour. Sometimes as much as 5 or 6. Most often somewhere in the middle.

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

A: I have been fortunate in this. I have the exact opposite of writer's block. The proverbial cup runneth over. I have so many screenplays and novels outlined that if the block comes tomorrow, I have enough to keep me occupied for the rest of my life.

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

A: Rum House is my first script. I started writing screenplays about 14 months ago and have had wonderful success (maybe I'll call it luck). I have 4 features on the festival circuit right now each pulling in some nice laurels, a short that is on the verge of selling and a t-v pilot that in currently in production on the west coast. It has been a very curious year.

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

A: I do not live there. Would love to visit but my preference would be to move to and to write from coastal Oregon.

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

A: Many new scripts are awaiting. Currently working on a supernatural thrilled called "Mercy". Two novels are nearing the halfway point and they are also waiting on me.So many words, so little time...

Posted Monday, February 24, 2014