Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter david kaneen

An interview with screenwriter david kaneen regarding the Holiday Screenplay Writing Competition.

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

A: Happy Father's Day is about Jay, a Texas widower, whose eight years old son Kyle fixes him up on a blind date with the feisty Vickie four days before Jay is due to remarry. Intent on discouraging Vickie's attentions, Jay takes her and Kyle up in a small plane, performing aerial acrobatics that go awry, resulting in their landing in Mexico. At an abandoned airfield Jay is forced by rebels to pilot a plane transporting arms to Camaguey, a Central American country in revolution. In a confrontation between rebels and government troops led by ruthless dictator Carlos Mendoza, Kyle is abducted and Jay and Vickie must embark on a series of cross-country adventures to rescue him, a mission complicated by Mendoza's attempts to spirit Camaguey's gold reserves out of the country. In a last confrontation, Kyle is rescued, the gold is saved and Jay re-evaluates his marriage plans.

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 this contest because it gave me a chance to produce a "family-friendly" screenplay. One of my favorite movies is Romancing the Stone and I wanted to write a comedy/adventure/romance that would appeal to a wider audience. The script has been entered in several contests in 2015 and I am still waiting to hear any results.

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 was very impressed by the judging. Any writer trying to break in is grateful for any encouragement and the win in this contest was wonderful. The awards promised appeared on time.

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

A: The script took four or five months to write. I had to set it to one side for a while until I figured out how to get the lead characters hijacked into helping the rebels, who became the good guys in the story, working against a corrupt government. Yes, I wrote an outline but it underwent a LOT of changes. I submitted the script to several script doctors and made a lot of cuts and changes. How many drafts? At least five or six.

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.

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

A: I go through stages. Sometimes I write nonstop, don't read a paper, don't watch TV for months on end. Now and again I step away completely, just to recharge. Occasionally I work on two scripts at the same time -- different types of stories to keep it interesting. Sometimes I think I have a split personality and am just channeling.

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

A: Yes, I get writers block. How do I deal with it? Go back into the story and set up a situation -- possibly with a subplot -- that will appear at the place where I am stuck. I have also found that just changing the setting of a scene can help.

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

A: My background is European but I left that part of the world many years ago. Studied screenwriting at NYU. I have written several screenplays -- been Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist a couple of times, had one script optioned in Europe but couldn't raise financing.

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

A: Don't have a Green Card.

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

A: Always, always, always! Never stuck for ideas, just simply which one to go with.

Posted Monday, June 29, 2015