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DAVID KURTZ - 10 Questions



10 Questions from the July 2014 1st Scene Screenplay Winner.

1. What is your SCREENPLAY about?

PETE is a love story wrapped in an adventure. It is about two very different people accidently finding each other when they most need to. Peter is a recently divorced middle-American business man. Joy is a beautiful young woman, a loner, who has spent her life on adventures around the world.

They meet. Peter is infatuated. Joy thinks she might find him useful on her mission to save her kidnapped parents. But they have a much deeper need for each other in their personal lives, and not until this odd-couple come together to share the adventure of a lifetime, do they fall in love. On route to saving the day, Peter finds his inner badass. Joy, jaded and skeptical, finds through Peter, that life in the middle-lane may not be so boring after all.

2. Why should your script be made into a film?

I lean toward writing in the contemporary rom com genre with the touch of 30'-50's films + a touch of Alfred Hitchcock + a good dose of sentimental (hanky) moments. I tend toward strong female leads, though in this script, equally strong protagonists. I would like to see a resurgence of films with this mix of genres. I lean toward writing in the contemporary rom com genre with the touch of 30'-50's films + a touch of Alfred Hitchcock + a good dose of sentimental (hanky) moments. I tend toward strong female leads, though in this script, equally strong protagonists. I would like to see a resurgence of films with this mix of genres.

*If you're looking for this movie in a theatre near you, I have changed the title to “Vista Point, North Side".

3. How long have you been writing screenplays?

More or less seriously, I've been at it a half-dozen years or so.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Retro: Casablanca, and if you haven't seen it, try Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House. I watch it once a year, or whenever I need to laugh out loud.

Recent: Lost in Translation, Saving Private Ryan (last scene when I need a good cry), Priceless, My Week with Marilyn, and assorted rom coms.

5. What artists would you love to work with?

Living? Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Carey Mulligan (and a variety of other MPDG candidates).

Departed? Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

Complete, printed on three-hole paper and boxed with no further tinkering? 0
In process: 4

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

a) At my laptop, writing screenplays.
b) Sitting in the back pew of a movie house that's showing my movie.

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

No. I write what I would like to see on the screen (too often resulting in muddled plot lines -- something I have to work on). My writing tends to be character driven, and when it works (for me), the characters come to life, become my best friends, and tend to speak for themselves on the page. I put them in situations and the dialogue just comes out. I write plot notes to myself (often in the middle of the night) and discard 99% of them. I wish I had an organized process, but I don't.

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

Holidays in France, and Chinese food when I get home.

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

Their concept of multiple ways to get your story out: from logline, to 1st scene, to full screenplay. The fast turnaround for feedback is critical for me as I'm sure it is with many new writers -- as many new drafts have been made by the time most contests provide feedback and results.

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

Seems presumptuous for me to be giving tips, but: I have found that no two reviewers (readers) have the same reaction to my scripts. For example, Peter trips an obnoxious little boy at the airport. Some readers loved it while others thought it awful and harmful to getting audiences to like my protagonist. I'm leaving it in (Joy seemed to enjoy it!).

Over time, I've learned to step back and sort out the good from the not so good critiques. I'll pass on some advice from Matthew Toffolo: "Keep writing with your muse" or words to that effect. After all, that's why you write. What else can you do?



DAVID KURTZ