Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter David Kurtz

An interview with screenwriter David Kurtz regarding the Woods Hole Writing Competition.

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

A: I was the winner of the 2015 Woods Hole Film Festival feature screenplay competition (for Comedy) held this summer with FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, a romantic comedy set against and action/adventure background – genre: Romantic Action/Comedy.

Logline: A mild-mannered investment banker gets pulled into the adventure of a lifetime when beautiful fighter pilot enlists his help in rescuing her parents, kidnapped by her ex-lover and leader of a drug cartel, bent on luring her back to Mexico.

Concept: With a theme of ‘love at first sight’, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE is a romantic action-comedy with strong female and male leads – a Buddy caper set in fast moving high tension action where nothing is quite as it seems. There are countless twists and turns when an everyday man meets cute with a mysterious woman who leads him into dangerous and romantic situations that become life changing for them both. Tone: Knight and Day and Romancing the Stone meets It Happened One Night.

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 relocated to Northern California five years ago but spent most of my life in Massachusetts. We spent many summers on Cape Cod and enjoyed Woods Hole (great oysters and lobster) – Woods Hole is the home of the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the festival. This script was a 2015 FINALIST in the Reel Writers Screenwriting Competition (winners TBA), 2015 Semifinalist in the TABLE READ MY SCREENPLAY Competition (w/Special Mention), 2015 Quarterfinalist in the PAGE INTERNATIONAL Screenplay Competition, 2015 Quarterfinalist in the HAPPY WRITERS Screenplay Competition and 2014 1ST Place in the WILDSOUND FIRST SCENE READING FESTIVAL, Film and Writing Festival, Toronto, performed July 2014.

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 screenwriting contest is a small part of the WHFF and was easy to enter. I was very happy to win.

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've been working on versions of this script for several years. I didn't write a formal outline beforehand but did write versions of an outline as I went along. Depending on how you define "drafts" - infinite.

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

A: Celtx.

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

A: I write virtually every day, from a few minutes to many hours, constantly editing.

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

A: I don’t think you would call it writer’s block, but there are times that an act or a scene clearly needs work, and for lack of inspiration it becomes hard to fire up the laptop. I think writers know what needs serious revision - sometimes it's difficult to "let go", face up to it and make changes.

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

A: My education was basically in science, but writing has always been my first love. As I neared retirement, I took Creative Writing Courses with Sibyl Johnson (Tufts University Professor: “WHERE THE STORIES COME FROM” Longman 2002) and a screenwriting course with Anne Jordan (NORCAL Screenwriters: Santa Rosa Junior College) when I moved to California.

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

A: I live about an eight-hour drive to L.A., and have no plans to move there… unless… of course I sell my screenplay and need to move there during production!

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

A: I will probably never stop tinkering with FOR THE LOVE OF PETE until I feel it is as good as I can make it and that it is marketable (which I gauge by competition placement and feedback). Then, I will pitch it. It's not there yet.

I have two or three other scripts in various states of completion. I just need to buckle down and do it.

Posted Thursday, August 27, 2015