Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Jeffrey Russel

An interview with screenwriter Jeffrey Russel regarding the Chicago Screenplay Contest Writing Competition.

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

A: GRACE - This is an historical drama based on actual events. In 19th century Scotland, a brave young woman born into privilege risks everything to stop the brutal eviction of tenant farmers.

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

A: Chicago was important because it represents a mid-western US audience. we have won 25 festivals with this script and have also garnered over 40 other awards including Honorable Mentions, Awards of Excellence, Runner-up and more. All are listed on our website

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: The administration responded quickly to out questions and email. Deadlines were met and we have a beautiful trophy for winning 2nd place.

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

A: We have been working on GRACE for 18 months. I wrote an outline in Scotland when we were there to research the story. The number of drafts in incalculable, but it's probably around 300.

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

A: Final Draft 8, However, we have upgraded to Final Draft 9.

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

A: Do I write every day? The short answer is yes. I put in as many as I can. Usually I'm at my desk for 5 or 6 hours a day, but that may not be entirely spent on writing.

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

A: No. I don't think I've been at this long enough to experience block. Right now my imagination is more like a river flowing down a steep grade. I have to hustle to keep up.

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

A: I now have three scripts available. Two complete and one in progress.

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

A: I live in Toronto, but I'd love to live in LA for part of the year. At the moment, its pretty easy to go back and forth as I need.

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

A: Yes, a new script is on the way. Once again, its completely different from any of the others I've penned. I expect to have it ready for my editor in about 6 weeks.

Posted Wednesday, September 17, 2014