PRESS PLAY TO LISTEN to PODCAST INTERVIEW of WINNING WRITER
1. What is your screenplay about?
As its name suggests, "Stages of Grief" is about loss, recovery, and finding a new sense of purpose after terrible tragedy.
2. Why did you decide to write this screenplay?
At the end of Series 3 of Torchwood, the Torchwood 3 team was in tatters. Their base (the HUB) had been destroyed and of the five original members, three were dead, one was pregnant, and the team leader, Captain Jack Harkness, had fled the planet in grief and guilt. Because the BBC has announced that there will be a Series 4 (13 episodes), I posed myself the challenge: How do you heal a team that has been so devastated and incorporate both favourite existing characters with the fantastic new characters introduced in the "Children of Earth" series? I wanted to be respectful to the plotlines and twists that the existing writers had done while keeping the mood, tone, and sense of humour that makes Torchwood so unique among SF series.
And I wanted to play with Captain John Hart.
But seriously, I adore Torchwood and want to see it continue to do well. I also would like the opportunity to work with/for the BBC.
3. How long have you been writing screenplays?
4. What is your favorite TV show of all-time?
Hard choice. The one that made me want to write for TV is, strangely enough, "Beauty and the Beast". Slightly cheesy, very fantastic, and - when you're 14, it's the BEST SERIES EVER! I loved the urban fantasy elements and the idea of a marvellous fantasy world right beneath the feet of the jaded New Yorkers.
Also, just about every girl I knew had a crush on Vincent because - let's face it - a guy who can kick ass one minute and spout poetry the next? Sexy.
5. What artist in the film industry would you love to work with?
Joss Whedon. One of the most original minds in the industry, who has made more unique shows from more unlikely concepts than any other person working. I love his brothers' music, I love his attitude, and I'm of the opinion that he's never made a bad series. I'm disappointed to hear about the end of "Dollhouse" but I have faith that he's got more wonderful TV tricks up his sleeve. I mean, the guy won an Emmy for a web series? How brilliant is that?
6. Who was your hero growing up?
Nemesis, Greek goddess of divine retribution. She's she chick with the sword who'd come in to lop the heads off of those who blaspheme the gods. (I've never been what you might call "normal".)
7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
Executive producer of my own series. Also like to have a couple of feature scripts produced by then. Dream big.
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I don't do well with routine, but I do love structure, and the king of structure is Blake Snyder (author of SAVE THE CAT). His B2S2 is a requirement of anything I write, and his insights into character, plot, and pacing have saved me on many occasions.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I teach inner city youth in an alternative high school. I'm passionate about awakening their belief that there is more to their future than poverty and violence.
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?
Hope. You have an excellent reputation and I hoped to make some more contacts and learn from the experience. It also finally got me to finish my TV spec. (Thank you!)
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
"Protagonists protagonate". Make sure the plot of your work is always driven by the clear, visible choices of the protagonist. Make him/her work for a living, and put him/her in situations where no choice is completely good, all choices have visible consequences, and then follow through. Hurt your heroes to make them stronger and beef up your antagonists to make the hero's struggle that much more emotionally satisfying.