Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Debi Calabro

An interview with screenwriter Debi Calabro regarding the Writers Place Writing Competition.

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

A: Life in the Fast Lane is a one hour TV pilot dramedy about a diverse group of race horse fans who are drawn together for better or worse.

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 the script into this contest because when I read the co-founders bio's they were very impressive. I finished writing the script not too long ago so I just started entering it into contest. The Writers Place was the first I heard from and, of course, I am very excited about the win especially considering who the co-founders are.

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: They are an extremely organized Company and promptly contacted me as they did the other winners of this contest in a separate email which I thought was very classy.

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

A: It usually takes me a good month to write the first draft of a script but for some reason it only took about a week to write this one. I think it might be because I'm a racehorse advocate and owner so knowing a lot about the subject made it easy to write. I do not outline. I think it's a waste of time. I used to outline but realized that by time I finished a script it was completely different than the outline. But others consider outlining a must. Go figure. I only did about two drafts on this script but that was unusual. I usually write at least 10 before it's good enough to send out.

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've been using Final Draft since I started writing 15 years ago. I never needed to use anything else.

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

A: I try to write everyday for at least a couple of hours. I think it's very important though to take a break every now and than just to clear your head. But no longer than a week or two.

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

A: Yes, I definitely get writer's block and when I do that's when I know it's time to take a break.

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

A: I've been writing scripts for about 15 years. I'v written about 10 screenplays in all genres, except horror. I'm too much of a chicken for that. Wrote one TV script which is Life in the Fast Lane. I've study the art of script writing by taking courses, reading many books and writing, writing, writing. Oh, and rewriting.

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

A: I live in NYC but have many connections out in LA. It might be easier to live there in this business but I'm too much of a New Yorker to consider living anywhere else.

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

A: I have a script in development right now so I'm focused on that. I will also continue to pursue pitching Life in the Fast Lane to network and cable TV. I recently finished writing a one location script and have it out to a couple of companies. I have other story ideas but I really want to focus on getting what I have done already off the ground because I'm sure at one point or another I'll be doing a rewrite on anyone of them and want to keep my head clear.

Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2015