WILDsound 2010 Spring Short Screenplay Finalist - BRENDAN BEACHMAN
1. What is your screenplay about?
"Intersection" is a short dark comedy about two road construction workers flagging for non-existent vehicles on a remote desert road. The monotony of their day is smashed with the violent arrival of an object from the sky.
2. Why did you decide to write this screenplay?
My friend Josh came up with a story about two road construction workers on a desolate road. I liked the scenario so much that I decided to write my own version. I worked road construction myself for three or four summers during my high school and college years. There were some really interesting people that I worked with that I will never forget. It was a lot of fun channeling those memories into this script.
3. How long have you been writing screenplays?
I graduated from the Montana State University film program in 2008. I learned about the structure and craft of screenwriting there, so I guess I can say I've been writing short screenplays for four or five years. I have yet to tackle a feature, but hopefully that will be next!
4. What is your favorite movie of all-time?
That's hard to say...I guess it depends on how I am feeling. The Graduate is definitely one of my favorites. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is another that I can watch over and over. Same with The Big Labowski, and The Devil's Backbone... I have a lot of favorites!
5. What artist in the industry would you love to work with?
Jeff Bridges, or the Coen Brothers.
6. Who was your hero growing up?
My family for always being supportive, and Wayne Gretzky for being awesome.
7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
Writing and directing a feature film would be my ultimate goal. I need to get some traveling under my belt as well.
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I'm still learning what works best for me. Writing is tough work and inspiration comes sporadically, usually really late at night. With "Intersection", I started with a basic outline of the story. I then wrote several drafts and sent them off to film buddies for feedback. Everyone had great ideas for me and I incorporated them into the screenplay. The dialog was especially fun for me in this script because it gave me a chance to recall my actual experience working road construction in a rural western town. The banter that can go on during a boring day is pretty hilarious. Vulgar, but hilarious. That experience helped me to create more authentic characters.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I have been a drummer for almost ten years now. I love playing music with friends. I got the chance to direct short films throughout college and that is a huge passion for me. Being a professional writer/director has been a dream of mine for a long time. Also being outdoors. Hiking, skiing, backpacking, mountain biking, etc...
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?
Like most of the people who enter WILDsound, l liked the thought of having feedback on my screenplay, regardless if it was a finalist or not. It's nerve wracking having others read your script, so it's great to have industry professionals giving you personal, constructive criticism.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Hmm...I still have a lot to learn as well. I guess I suggest really keeping your eyes open for interesting stories and characters. The world is full of fascinating people. The best screenwriters seem to be especially adept when it comes to creating unique characters that audiences can still recognize from their own lives. Keep a little scratch pad with you at all times to record these interesting nuggets of life. Also, I find if I make a habit of siting down to write for one hour a day, every single day, my productivity is much better than if I write for ten hours straight only when inspiration hits. And most importantly, read!