CHRISTOPHER WILLIS - 10 Questions
10 Questions from the December 2013 Screenplay Winner.
1. Why should your script be made into a film?
It is a good story, entertaining, and carries a good message that real life can exceed one's dreams.
2. How long have you been writing screenplays?
I have been writing screenplays for about 10 years.
3. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I'm a war movie buff, so it would be a toss up between Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan.
4. What artists in the film industry would you love to work with?
Aaron Sorkin, Matt Damon, Martin Scorcese
5. How many screenplays have you written?
Five features and several shorts completed, two features in the works, and a bunch of ideas I can't wait to get to.
6. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
At my Mac, writing screenplays.
7. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I grab an idea from my daily and professional life (I am a semi-retired psychologist) or the news or even a contest. Work on the concept for a while, developing it. Then I will write the opening scenes which helps me flesh out the primary characters and themes. Once the first few pages are written I will outline the remainder of the script. Then I carve out a scene from the outline, edit it, rewrite it in the context of the previous scenes. When I have a first draft completed I will go back and do several rewrites to elevate the characters, the scene by scene tension, the concept and theme, and finally the dialogue. After about 8 drafts I will send it to friends in a writers group I belong to for feedback. Then another rewrite. Then I will send it for professional coverage/feedback. And a few more rewrites.
8. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I am a psychologist who is passionate about helping children and family overcome obstacles to school, social, and emotional functioning.
9. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?
Previous success in a one-page screenplay competition.
10. Any advice or tips you'd like to pass on to other writers?
Polish till it shines. Enter contests. Don't get caught up in the dream of Hollywood fame and riches.