Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Kyle Jenkins

An interview with screenwriter Kyle Jenkins regarding the Wildsound 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 screenplay is "The Fix Factory." It's a found-footage vampire script.

The story revolves around an alcoholic, wannabe family man named Lawrence Tijman who wakes up in the hospital sporting a mysterious bite mark and a sudden resolution to start his life all over again. During Lawrence's journey to kick the bottle and become a responsible adult, he's confronted by an orphaned child, a girlfriend who's had enough and a guilt-ridden stranger who's determined to teach Lawrence how to live with his newly discovered thirst for blood, which proves to be far worse than his thirst for booze.

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

A: As of right now, I've only entered the WILDsound screenwriting contest. I joined the contest because I heard positive feedback about it and I also read that it was a popular contest for fresh writers who had just began dipping their feet into the screenwriting business.

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 am absolutely satisfied with the administration of the WILDsound contest. They met all set deadlines. Right on time. WILDsound provided me with thorough feedback on my screenplay and they posted a video table read of my screenplay in early October 2014 as scheduled. Very professional!

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 wrote the first draft of The Fix Factory in a little under two weeks. Just banged it out. I went at a pace of about 10 pages per day. I've written about 4 drafts of this screenplay now.

When I wrote The Fix Factory, I had just moved back to Maryland from Miami due to some health problems I was having at the time. I needed to be closer to my doctor. Therefore, I had an open window of about two weeks before I started my new job in Maryland. So, I used the two weeks to my advantage and cranked out The Fix Factory. Regarding the outline, I wrote it while I was still living in Miami and then I touched it up a bit when I arrived home in Maryland. I always outline now. Always.

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 used Movie Magic Screenwriter to write The Fix Factory. I also have Final Draft. So, I'm familiar with both pieces of software. However, even though Final Draft seems to be the more popular screenwriting software, I still feel more comfortable with Movie Magic Screenwriter because it was the software I worked with on my first screenplays.

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

A: I usually take at least one day off of writing per week. I need that day of rest or else I'll go nuts! And I honestly don't set aside a specific amount of time that I write every day. Instead, I set a quota of pages that I write every day, either 5 pages or 10 pages, depending on what my day job schedule is like at the time. And if those 5 pages only take me 30 minutes to write, they only take me 30 minutes to write. If they take me 4 hours to write, they take me 4 hours to write. I just keep it simple and I meet the quota I set for myself, regardless of how much time it takes to meet that quota.

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

A: Never. I don't believe in writer's block, that is, I don't believe in writer's block for myself. It's not my place to say whether or not somebody else has writer's block. But, in my experience, I've never suffered from writer's block. If anything, my issue is that I have too many ideas and I struggle to decide which idea is ultimately worth writing an entire script about. And choosing that one special idea simply comes down to which idea means most to me in my personal life at that time. Or, it may just stem from watching too many horror movies at that time in my life too!

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

A: I graduated from The University of Miami with a double major in Motion Pictures and Creative Writing. So, I have a background in screenwriting and in prose as well. I've always wanted to take a crack at writing a novel at some point. Maybe a non-fiction true crime saga.

I've also done some online editorial/journalism writing for various websites, including a website called Millennial Magazine, which I write for right now. I do some freelance editing and creative consulting for a successful intellectual property manager part-time too.

As for screenwriting, I've written a total of 6 screenplays. Actually, I don't really count the first 2 screenplays that I wrote because I wrote them before I really had any basic idea of what I was doing. So, the first 2 scripts were garbage. But, that's okay. Writing garbage is a part of the process of creative growth. I mean, you have to write garbage in order to learn how to not write garbage, right?

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

A: I don't currently live in Los Angeles. I'm still in Maryland at the moment. But, as soon as I'm able to land some screenwriting work or some journalism work, I'm more than willing to move out to beautiful Southern California!

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

A: I'm toying with different ideas for a new screenplay right now. As always, I have so many ideas and I'm working on narrowing it down to just that one special idea to which I'll devote an entire screenplay. As soon as I nail that idea down I'm off to the races!

Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2014