Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter M. Rowan Meyer

An interview with screenwriter M. Rowan Meyer regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

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

A: "Patient" is a half hour dark comedy about Adrian Irons, a razor-witted, bisexual, self-destructive standardized patient at a NYC teaching hospital. He has the unique ability to recreate the symptoms of any disease, which he uses to help train med students and new doctors. Chaos ensues, however, when the symptoms start to stick.

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 found this contest through Withoutabox while I was searching for contests that accept teleplays. I've entered about 20. Still waiting to hear back from most with later deadlines, but I was just named a finalist for the Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship, and am currently a semi-finalist for the SeriesFest Teleplay Competition.

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: Cinequest, and Antonea Colon in particular, were great. Everything went smoothly and they couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.

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 in two days. There was no outline, just an idea. The stars aligned for this project, and it just happened to come at a particularly creative time. I made several big changes in later rewrites over the next year.

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 use Celtx.

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

A: I ideally like to write for an hour every day, but if I'm not feeling inspired I will at least write for 10 minutes. As long as I can get one solid line, plot point, or transition, that's enough sometimes.

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

A: I absolutely get writer's block. The best thing to do is not stress about it. Just keep going, no matter how slowly. Or work on something else, as long as it serves your creativity.

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

A: I have a MFA in Acting from Rutgers University. I've written 6 episodes for "Patient" thus far, a spec script for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", and many short comedic films. I also a few plays that occasionally get produced, and a novel.

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

A: I live in New York. I'd be happy to move to LA, but only if I have something solid lined up.

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

A: I'm currently writing a feature, a short film, two new sketches, and a new pilot. I know it sounds like I have too many projects up in the air, but very happy to say I actually work on all of them pretty regularly.

Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2016