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CARA ROTHENBERG - 10 Questions

10 Questions from the June 2014 TV Screenplay Winner.

WATCH Interview with the Writer
1. What is your TV SPEC SCRIPT for PARENTHOOD about?

Adam and Kristina are skeptical of a girl who seems interested in Max, while a visit from Hank's sister gets Sarah thinking about giving their romance another try. Amber makes an unlikely friend, and Crosby's true feelings about Joel and Julia's separation come to light.

2. Why does your TV SPEC fit within the context of the original show?

I think it captures the overall tone of the show pretty well. It's dramatic and it's based around serious issues, but there's also a light heartedness to it. I really tried to study the voices of the characters and how they've grown throughout the series. An example of that would be Crosby's outrage about Joel not forgiving Julia for her infidelity. His wife and growing family softened him and puts things in perspective. But at the same time, Crosby handles the situation pretty aggressively, ultimately staying true to who he is as a person.

3. How long have you been writing?

Since I was eighteen. I grew up writing stories and novels, but as I got older I started to realize that basically all of my writing consisted of dialogue. I started to shy away from stories and got more into screenwriting once I got to college, and haven't really looked back since.

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

That's tough. I have a bit of an obsessive personality so I have gone through phases with a bunch of movies. I guess it would be a three way tie between The Wizard of Oz, School of Rock and Superbad. I'm really not sure what that says about me.

5. What artists would you love to work with?

Hands down, Jason Katims. He's the creator of Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, two shows that have made a huge impact on me as both a writer and a person. I love the authenticity of both shows.

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

About ten.

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

Staff writer for a TV show.

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

I guess my process is pretty simple: write until you come up with something that doesn't suck. But still save the sucky drafts so that you have something to laugh at later.

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

Honestly, not much. Writing sort of consumes all of the passion that my heart can muster. If I had to pick....maybe ice cream.

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

The chance to hear my script performed by actors.

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

I don't know that I am qualified to give out advice. But I have found what my parents have been saying to me basically my whole life to be really helpful. Don't listen to the people who scoff when you say you want to be a writer because it doesn't seem practical or stable. Their jobs are probably super boring anyway. Just tune them out, keep your head up and write.