Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Phillip Hardy

An interview with screenwriter Phillip Hardy 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: Title: "Once Upon A Time In LA"

2013 Gold Medal Winner at Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest.


A psychologist loses her sister in a car accident, adopts her sibling’s teenage son, moves to LA and is stalked by one of her new patients, who may be imitating the Boston Strangler

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 read some solid reviews about the contest and reviewed their website, which is professional. This script also has competed in Blue Cat, Screencraft and Fresh Voices and got some good coverage from Blue Cat.

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: Yes, they met all there deadlines and I received things 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: I normally take about three weeks to write a first draft, which was the case with OUATILA. The version I entered was a second draft. My process begins with a logline and a one to two page synopsis. My first drafts follow the synopsis, with many more scenes springing up during the script writing process. More recently, I've experimented with loose outlines where I list ideas for lots of scenes, some of which I use and some not. I don't subscribe to the generally accepted philosophy of multiple rewrites. However, I have recently done spot rewrites for a producer who has offered some great suggestions on three of my scripts. He optioned all three of these scripts, so collaboration was a good way to improve my work.

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 only use Final Draft.

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

A: I have no set time. When I'm in the zone, I can go for hours. I don't believe in being too regimented about the process. However, if you have good up front organizational abilities and a solid outline for where you want your story to go, the rest should creative and at times improvisational.

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

A: I don't suffer writer's block. However, writing the first ten pages of any script is generally the most difficult part of the process for me.

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

A: I've written a dozen or more screenplays, two books and one television show. I was recently hired for a writing team creating a pilot for a European action/adventure. The work begins in October 2014. This year, I have won or placed well in 8 festivals and screenplay contests.

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

A: I lived in Los Angeles most of my life but recently moved to Austin Texas. I have no immediate plans to move back to LA and love Central Texas.

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

A: I am writing a nighttime soap opera pilot in September and an action pilot in October. I am working with producers on both of these projects. I am attending Austin Indie Flix Showcase in September, where my screenplay about J.D. Salinger is a finalist. I also plan on attending the Austin Film Festival in October. I am also working with producer Steve Roeder on finding a studio to produce my action/thriller "Gina Jericho".

Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2014