Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Eddie Yaroch

An interview with screenwriter Eddie Yaroch regarding the WriteMovies Writing Competition.

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

A: "A Ghost Story Of Christmas"

I took "A Christmas Carol," modernized it with married professional ghost hunters and equipment, ala "The Conjuring," and added goblins from Dickens' "Pickwick Papers."

The twist is that Scrooge's former fiancee, Belle, is one of the ghost hunters. She and her husband run a carnival that is about to be taken away from them unless they and their spirit-seeing dog, Casper, help Scrooge with his ghost problems.

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

A: Write Movies Contest (WMC) has an excellent report card on your site. Plus, there were two categories: Monthly and WMC36. Ironically, I entered the Monthly contest by mistake and that's where I won Third Place!

I've entered over 15 other contests, including WMC36, and am awaiting the results.

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: WMC was having all kinds of website issues while I was trying to enter. It took a week of efforts to finally get entered. That cost me missing the early deadline so my fee increased, but, like I said, the glitches may have led me to inadvertently enter the Monthly contest and end up placing Third. No complaints!

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

A: After writing an outline, it took about a month of evenings and weekends to write in longhand. There's only one draft, but that longhand version has scribbles, crossouts, arrows, footnotes and sweat stains galore. I don't tend to spit it all out and fix later. Crazy as it sounds, I fix as I go. Then it's tweaking and spellcheck and rephrasing.

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 software. It does the trick and not that expensive.

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

A: No no no. I am actually a San Diego actor who writes occasionally when the muse strikes, which so far has been seven times for feature screenplays and a one-act play. Right now, the muse is telling me to adapt "A Ghost Story Of Christmas" into a madcap play with a handful of brilliant comic actors.

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

A: When I get stuck, I go for a long walk. Ideas seem to loosen themselves up and bubble to the surface. Hot showers are good, too. The water bill goes up when I'm writing, which is not good in southern CA.

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

A: I have a BFA in Theatre from the University of MN-Duluth. The first thing I wrote (after my one-act about domestic violence) was a spec pilot script called "Up Down Under." It was at the height of "Crocodile Dundee" mania and my pilot was about an Australian foreign exchange student living with an American family like the Cosbys.

I then wrote a spec "Tales From The Crypt" that dealt with superstitions and a cursed town under the spell of a black cat.

Then it was six full-length screenplays over the years. One of them, "Class President," I produced and directed on 35MM in a small town in South Dakota for $137,000 (loans, maxed credit cards and investors).

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

A: Not if I can avoid it. San Diego is a nice distance and I can visit LA, if needed.

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

A: The play version of AGSOC, just in time for Christmas!

Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2014