Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Cara Rothenberg

An interview with screenwriter Cara Rothenberg regarding the Wildsound/TV Writing Competition.

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

A: The title of my Parenthood spec script is "Don't Give up on him Yet." It takes place in the fifth season of the show, which is the season that just recently came to an end. Adam and Kristina are skeptical of a girl who seems interested in Max, while a visit from Hank's sister gets Sarah thinking about giving their romance another try. Amber makes an unlikely friend, and Crosby's true feelings about Joel and Julia's separation come to light.

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 entered this contest because I wanted feedback from people who were really going to be honest with me, and I also wanted the opportunity to hear and see my script read by actors. I never expected I would have that opportunity with a spec script, so I decided to go for it.

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: I was very satisfied with the administration of this contest. They were prompt in getting back to me, and the video of the table read of my script was posted in a timely fashion.

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

A: From first draft to final draft, it took me about two months to write this script. I did write a brief outline beforehand, just so I could get an idea of where I wanted each story to go before I actually got down to writing the script. I wrote about four drafts of this particular script.

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 exclusively use Final Draft for every script that I write.

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

A: I wish I could say I write every day, but my job doesn't really permit me to do so. I would say I write anywhere from two to four times a week.

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

A: Yes, I would imagine that every writer does. I try not to force it. I'll go do something else that has nothing to do with writing, and usually that's when I come up with an idea.

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

A: I'm 23 years old, and I graduated with a degree in television and film two years ago. I currently work at a post production house in NYC. So as of right now, I really don't have a professional background in writing scripts of any kind. But that is certainly the goal.

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

A: I don't live in LA...yet. I still live at home in New Jersey for financial reasons, but I plan on venturing off to the West Coast as soon as I possibly can.

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

A: I am working on a sitcom pilot and a sitcom spec as well. I want to be able to show prospective agents that I have range and that I'm not married to writing dramas. Being funny is tough, and I might end up being really bad at it, but I have to at least try.

Posted Tuesday, June 10, 2014