Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Michael Sieve

An interview with screenwriter Michael Sieve regarding the Beverly Hills Screenplay Writing Competition.

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

A: Give My Love to Rose is about a man who is falsely accused and convicted of murder and who serves 15 years into a life sentence before he is exonerated. Rose won the Gold Prize in the short script category.

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 fact that this was the 1st annual intrigued me. I wanted to be a part of something new. And, of course, having the name Beverly Hills associated with it got my attention. Rose has won a number of other laurels including best short script at the California International Shorts 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: Satisfied but, as of yet (March 12), I have not received the awards. Not sure what the hold up is. I have made contact with the contest administrators and they have responded, suggesting the prize package is on the way.

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

A: 4 drafts. I wrote the first draft in an afternoon, about 3 hours. Initially, the beginning was pretty clunky. Subsequent drafts helped clear it up. BHSC got hold of my third draft. I guess it was good enough.

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 is all I use for now. Love it.

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

A: Most every day. Sometimes as much as 5 or 6 hours, sometimes as little as 1. Depends.

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

A: Not at all. Never had it. And if I get it tomorrow, I have enough outlined and waiting to last me the rest of my life.

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

A: I started writing screenplays in December of 2012. My first screenplay started winning awards in the Spring of 2013. Have won 18 since. As well, I wrote a t-v pilot which is currently in production in San Francisco. Currently working on two more features and two more pilots.

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

A: No. And no. Everyone says you have to live there to make it. Maybe so. But I think the industry is changing. To the point, there has been more production and shooting in my town in the last three years than in L.A. And with the independent industry making its gains, I feel pretty good that L.A. will be more an option in the coming years than a requirement.

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

A: I have a sports comedy and a supernatural drama for my next two features. Also, I am working on a supernatural comedy, a sort of Dark Shadows meets Cheers, as a t-v pilot. I am still hammering away on two novels when I can find the time but, as of now, the screenplay world commands most of it.

Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2014