JENNIFER SPARKMAN - 10 Questions
10 Questions from the July 2014 1st Scene Screenplay Winner. Go to her website: www.jensparkman.com
1. What is your SCREENPLAY about?
In 1942, Charleston, South Carolina young woman named Julianne discovers that a traveling circus has come to town looking for new people. Julianne and her boyfriend Hugh have talents for high acrobatics in the sky and decide to audition. Julianne runs away from home with Hugh and joins this circus. Through their time there the ringmasters realize that Julianne is the chosen one. She has a destiny to fullfil on another world called Minsae. The ring masters discover she is the lost princess to their world and devise a plan to kill her and the rest of her family because if not their world could change. Julianne escapes the clutches of the ringmasters after she has been transported to Minsae. She then realizes her destiny to save her family and this new world that she was always meant to lead.
2. Why should your script be made into a film?
It should be made into a film because it has a female hero that has a journey that deserves sharing. She's a rebel that realizes she has a bigger destiny than ever imagined. The film is fantastical but at the core it's about family, love and going for your destiny in life. I try to make films that support strong female characters and this one is full of that.
3. How long have you been writing screenplays?
I have been writing scripts for seven years.
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
Away we Go and Finding Neverland. I suppose in my life I rather dream of magical realms that also exist in reality. It's why this script in particular blends the real with the fantasy. When my characters go into a new world full of danger and new customs I become interested in exploring topics that go into world building.
5. What artists would you love to work with?
I would love to work with the production designer Gemma Jackson from Finding Neverland. To pick the brain of Marc Forster, Dave Eggers and photographer Mary Ellen Mark. I say Mary because in the early days of my writing I was drawn into photography. Her photos were the first time I realized that you can tell a story without moving picture. She captures such beauty admist such hardship.
6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?
I've written a bunch of short stories and around 6 scripts both short and long. In college I mainly wrote short scripts, but I find that I write when I feel compelled. I'm a writer because I can't not write. It's how I express my life.
7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
Ideally in five years I hope to be directing at least one of my features I've completed. Also to be working in university teaching writing or film classes on a community college level. I believe community college has such a rich mind of people that want to learn.
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I don't exactly have a writing process but I do have some things that happen when I write. If I have something hard to get through I will give myself incentives to keep going. They are weird combinations of food and some form of classical music.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about hanging out with my grandparents. They inspire me every day and teach me to be a better person. I also love hiking in LA. There are so many places to get out and explore the smoggy LA air.
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?
I was inspired to enter because I just wanted to see what would happen. I haven't been able to enter many contests because I'm always busy revising scripts, but I thought these ten pages could be ready to submit. I also loved the fact I might get some interesting feedback from an outsiders perspective.
11. Any advice or tips you'd like to pass on to other writers?
Write every day. I feel like that it's not the most creative advice, but the more you write the better you get. Writing is a discipline. When athletes work out every day they are training for that day to compete. When I write everyday I'm preparing to make the best story I can, so that when I submit to contests the script will be ready.
These are some thought provoking questions. I hope they all make sense. Thanks again for selecting me. My first ten pages have changed again since last we talked, but I know this version of the scene will be enlightening to watch and learn from.