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DAVID REDSTONE - 10 Questions

10 Questions from the September 2014 best scene screenplay showcase writer.

1. What is your screenplay about?

FLEET WEEK: 'NEATHER RISE is a sequel to the first FLEET WEEK: EVANESCENCE script - which was adapted from my novel of the same name. 'Neathers are introduced in that first story as undersea electromagnetic entities (Topsiders call them ghosts). All of the 'Neathers are victims of warship sinkings during World War Two. This second script expands upon the plight of all 'Neathers in their struggle to exist on a changing Earth, the desperate actions upon which they embark to survive, to proliferate - and their efforts to overcome Topsider plans for eliminating them.

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

This is an original, fast-paced action adventure that puts a new twist on the concept of ghosts. It's also open-ended as a series of motion pictures; a potential franchise. There's depth to the main characters, lots of back-and-forth moral conflict, and much of it within themselves. There are corollaries to current events (both natural and manmade). Ultimately though, a movie should be a very entertaining romp, and I think this script passes muster.

3. How long have you been writing screenplays?

Nine years.

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

The Wizard of Oz.

5. What artists would you love to work with?

As far as well-known directors, the usual suspects: Eastwood, Lucas, Spielberg, Cameron, Peter Jackson. Yet there are so many brilliant people I've encountered in my travels within theatre, film, television and radio that I wouldn't know where to begin, or stop. The talent I've seen is awe-inspiring. I've always felt deeply honored any time I've been lucky enough to be included in a project.

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

I've completed 5 screenplays and 2 novels, with several more in both categories at varying degrees of completion.

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

I'd like to be fully engaged in both writing and directing for film and/or television.

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

I always envision a long-form drama project as building a rail system. There is the track, which equates to the plot; it's the curving, sloping line - the run of the story. There are the stations and terminals along the track along with passing scenery out the train windows - these are your settings. The train is composed of all the characters who must convince the audience to step aboard and experience your story. The main characters are engines, and then followed by cars of varying sizes, according to the weight of each character's role.

Plot ideas arrive for me in various ways. I'll poke around on the Internet within historical periods, searching for anything fascinating that may not yet have been fully explored. Other times I'll write within a genre that interests me greatly, such as crime drama.

I get a general idea of each character's mindset before I write, and then alter them to fit once the actual writing begins. At some point your characters speak to you because you know them. You know how they think.

Prior to writing a single word of the actual drama, I conduct thorough research. The buck stops with me as the storyteller, initially anyway. So, I amass more than enough background information beforehand. I feel it's a major responsibility to not let the viewer / listener / reader lose track, or begin to question anything during their suspension of disbelief.

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

Family and friends, of course, top the list from a personal passion. I'm also passionate about certain social/environmental/political issues, such as truly affordable health care for citizens, the halting of human-caused global warming, the idea of returning government back to representing people instead of Big Money / Big Corporate and so forth. I enjoy walking the dog, exercising, following baseball and football, and am somewhat of a film buff as well. I'm very passionate about computers and especially software development. That's been my day job.

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

Writing long-form stories that work - that's rather difficult. For unproduced writers, the real frustration after keystroking "The End" is trying to get noticed. There are so few outlets to present your material. WILDsound appealed to me, because my work now migrates from an unread concept into a produced staging, easily accessible by industry pros.

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

I think the first priority for storytellers is to be absolutely fascinated with people. What they do, how they do it. What they say. What drives them, what are their fears, doubts, strengths and weaknesses. Whether your story is character-based or plot-driven, and even if it involves talking animals or aliens - it's still always about people and how your audience hopefully will relate to them.

Solid research is vital when writing anything, including fiction. You are the authoritative voice behind the words. If your characters as storytellers don't pitch it credibly? The audience will pick up on it right away and then you're sunk, Sunk, SUNK. There are no shortcuts to a well-researched piece of writing.

For newer writers: You're going to get better as long as you keep at it, and act upon those points of feedback from others whose opinions you value. Eventually your style will emerge and you'll fly on your own. It's well worth your diligence to arrive at that extremely liberating point in time.