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RON GRANER

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11 Questions with 2010 Screenplay Finalist

What is the screenplay about?

1/ What if someone who was praying said what was really on his or her mind?

Why did people vote for my script?

2/ The script opens up a debate on the constraints religious societies place on their symbolic exemplars.I've been one, so I know what its like.

How long have I written?

3/ My first published writing was done in 1966 for the Varsity Newspaper when I was a singer in the Royal Conservatory Opera School. I was interested in environmental issues and wrote the first articles about Don Chant's “Pollution Probe”. Later at York University I was a Theatre and Film Critic on the Varsity and wrote some humour for The Excalibur: “With Apologies to Richard Needham”

I've written children's plays, satire, theatre and movie reviews. I even had a short 5-minute music docu-drama produced by BRAVOFact. (A Forgotten Master: David Nowakowsky) which was shown at Wild Sound and has been rebroadcast by BRAVO!, and its affiliate stations several times. The short film could only tell part of the story of a composer whose music has been suppressed for almost 100 years. Fortunately, I had enough recorded music left over from the film-making process (and a shelf full of previously recorded interviews). I reworked the archived material into a CBC Radio-1 documentary for a show called: “Outfront”. If you want to hear that radio show, go to the “Outfront” website www.cbc.ca/outfront and scroll to Sept. 20th 2006 in the “past shows” section. That led to a 2nd “Outfront” show broadcast March 12th 2007 on singer: Louis Danto. I'm now about half-way through a feature-length screenplay which will cover the whole tragic 150 years that led to the suppression of some beautiful music. I mostly write satire and zany comedy, so the serious music story is a departure from what I normally do. -Except for my singing, which is pretty well mostly classical and cantorial music. When I'm not listening to Bach, I listen to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.

Fave Movies?

4/ Can't really remember. I watched anything that moved. I tried to guess what the actors would say before they said it. The African Queen was one of my favourites. I loved anything with Charles Laughton, Claude Rains, Walter Massey. Dame Margaret ? Treasure Island with Walter Beery, and I thought Diana Shore had a sweet screen personality. Gene Kelly movies. Anything with a Redgrave in it was bound to be good. Local Hero still makes me laugh. Wonder what film history would be like if Elvis Presley had been given the kind of roles he deserved?

Artists to work with?

5/ I'd love to find a way to pay back Vanessa Redgrave for her many kindnesses. Eileen Atkinson was also very giving in the short few moments we were on stage together.

Other Screenplays?

6/ I'm working on a Feature which is turning out to be a lot of fun.

5 Years from now?

7/ In 5 years I'd like to be slim, tanned and fit.

My Process.

8/ Once I get my ass parked in the chair I have a ball. Writing is fun. The hard part is making sure I get to sit down and open up the script-ware. The next hardest part is sticking to the outline and throwing out all the wonderful ideas that don't propel the action.

Other Loves.

9/ I love preserving the past. Old buildings, old cars. I love medical science, airplanes and I'm a sucker for anything with new technology. I'm also a glutton.

Why did I submit?

10/ I had this joke in my head and I knew it would die with me if I didn't write it down. -Besides I had to learn to use the script-ware sometimes! -Eh?

Advice for Others.

11/ Go for it. You can do it. I write lots of crap, -especially in the beginning. It gets better as you go along. Sometimes the stuff you throw away is worth being rewritten, or the idea cam be used in another context. Or sometimes you're right. Its garbage! Throw it away and keep going. The good stuff will come along later. It always does.



RON GRANER


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