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STEPHAN BUGAJ

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WILDsound 2010 Spring Feature Screenplay Finalist - STEPHAN BUGAJ

1. What is your screenplay about?

”Let The Games Begin” is a family story about nerdy video game entrepreneur Dave whose perfect geek world has become unbalanced by his teenage daughter Star, whose love of sports is seen by her parents as mere teenage rebellion. Dave, feeling his youth slipping, his family unraveling, and his company stagnating deals with this midlife crisis by attempting to regain his teen status as a videogame champion. Star,feeling distanced from her family, and her chance for sports success slipping away, deals with this teen crisis by joining the boys’ football team. Dave’s quest to show the world that “old me” can still be great video gamers parallels Star’s attempts to prove herself in the male-dominated world of sports, and father and daughter must learn that in the end what really matters is family, fun and self respect.

2. Why did you decide to write this screenplay?

Because my wife and I have been discussing having kids, and I am trying to imagine myself as a father. And I keep seeing fellow geeks and nerds I work with becoming parents, and buying their kids video games and Legos and Star Wars everything and trying to imagine how they're going to rebel.

It's the ultimate horror for nerd and geek families that one of their kids might turn out to be jocks. But since I'm also a baseball fan (the sport of statisticians), and my wife's brother is a hardcore sports nerd through and through, I know that the distance between one sort of geekery and another isn't as great a chasm as many would like to think. (The Onion article "Walking Sports Database Scorns Walking Sci-Fi Database" really sums that up.) So I decided that this idea would make a fun, unique family film. I'm glad the Wildcard readers agreed.

3. How long have you been writing screenplays?

About 7 years.

I've been writing for about fifteen years now.

4. What is your favorite movie of all-time?

A three-way tie between Blade Runner, The Princess Bride, and Repo Man.

5. What artist in the industry would you love to work with?

Ian McKellen

6. Who was your hero growing up?

Richard Feynman

7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

Writing and Directing professionally.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

Since I have a full-time job, I write whenever I can. I try to at least stare at a page and contemplate writing every day.

I always write while listening to music, generally Industrial, Punk, or Postpunk. When I hit a wall creatively, I will take a hike into Wildcat Canyon Park, or play a video game for a bit (which when writing "Let The Games Begin" I decided to consider "research").

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Filmmaking, fine arts (particularly photography and photomanipulation), cats, wine, and studying military history, philosophy and science/engineering topics.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?

Getting feedback on a script in order to make a good script great, especially the chance to possibly hear it read aloud, which is both incredibly helpful and great fun.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

If you're writing films to get rich, become a hedge fund manager instead. If you're writing films to get famous, go do something trashy on reality TV instead. But if you just love the way you can tell a story in this medium, then simply keep writing and don't give up.



STEPHAN BUGAJ


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