Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Grant Reid

An interview with screenwriter Grant Reid regarding the Wildsound 1st Scene Writing Competition.

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

A: 'My Last Duchess' is about the power that jealousy has in humans to turn the strongest feelings of love into possession. Alexander and Catherine have been happily married for single-digit years, but paranoia sets in for Alexander when recently single neighbour Thomas begins to spend more time with Catherine. It's adapted from a poem I loved in high school of the same name by Robert Browning.

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

A: This was the first contest I'd entered. I think the majority of my screenplays have strong first scenes and so it was logical that I enter myself into the First Scene Festival. I will continue to work on the rest of the story and hopefully send it everywhere I can.

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 certainly wasn't promised a winning submission, so that was a great bonus! The best thing for a writer is to get feedback- not just to be told 'that was good' but honest and constructive feedback. That's what WILDsound offer. It was a good experience having individuals from overseas have a different perspective on my work.

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

A: For the page-and-a-half script it went through maybe six or seven drafts before I was happy with it. I was told once by a producer that the most important page of a script is the first, so I like to take extra care with it. Altogether though I wrote it in a week under the sun in Portugal.

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

A: Fade In is a much cheaper alternative to the industry-standard Final Draft and very easy to use. Having a good writing software motivates you to writing more in my opinion.

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

A: I don't write every day, or I'd suffer from burnout, but I'm always thinking about my scripts and taking notes about characters, plot and such. When I do sit down at my laptop though it has to be for a long, undisturbed period of time. Usually at night.

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

A: I think every writer does. It's best to take a break from writing and go back to it with fresh eyes. Once you read it over again after a day or two you get a clearer idea of where you want to take it. But if there's a problem in the script you can't get round you should really be thinking, 'does it have to be in there?'.

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

A: I study a scriptwriting module at university in Glasgow, Scotland and hope to enrol in the increasingly prestigious MATV course at Glasgow Caledonian University. I have a backload of scripts and ideas across different computers, USB drives and notepads.

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

A: There have been some massive successes from Scotland in L.A., so why not?

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

A: I'm always working on something, or more than one project at a time. I have a very industrious attitude towards scriptwriting.

Posted Monday, January 19, 2015