Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Stuart Creque

An interview with screenwriter Stuart Creque regarding the ScriptVamp/Attention Grabber Writing Competition.

Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?

A: The title is There Is A Season. It's about the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and how divine intervention might help end it. It focuses on two families, one Israeli and one Palestinian, and how their fates and the fates of their peoples are intertwined.

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: I felt this script had a very strong opening and the Attention Grabber contest specifically focuses on this aspect of the script. This script has done well in other competitions, winning the Cinema City International Film Festival screenplay competition and making the finals in both the CineStory screenplay competition and the Contest of Contest Winners.

Q: Were you satisfied with the administration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: I was extremely satisfied with the administration of the Attention Grabber contest. The contest administrators met their deadlines and proactively worked to deliver all the awards promised, including an InkTip listing.

Q: How long did it take you to write the script? Did you write an outline beforehand? How many drafts did you write?

A: This script germinated from an idea about how God might make peace in the Middle East: I imagined that while he wouldn't rain fire and brimstone, he might alternatively make it snow... and let it keep snowing until the warring sides decided to stop fighting and help each other.

I wrote an outline with key scenes and bits of dialogue from the middle out - identifying key scenes at various points in the script, then filling in the spaces between as I developed my characters.

I wrote a pretty complete first draft. Along the way, I surprised myself when the story itself forced me to kill a couple of the key characters: I realized that saving their lives would be a betrayal of the story. That was a shock, because I didn't want them to die, but I knew the script would be a sham if they didn't.

I wrote a second and perhaps a third draft based on feedback from friends and writing workshops.

Q: What kind of software did you use to write the script, if any? What other kinds of writing software do you use?

A: I prefer to use Sophocles scriptwriting software, but the company that developed it is out of business. I have access to Final Draft and will switch to that when I can't get Sophocles to work anymore.

I've also found that I can write short scripts pretty easily on my iPhone using the ScriptsPro app.

Q: Do you write every day? How many hours per day?

A: I don't write every day. I tend to write in bursts - I wrote most of There Is A Season in one marathon session that ended at 4 AM.

However, every day I plot out stories and create dialogue in my head, working out story problems and developing characters, so that when I write I can be very productive.

Q: Do you ever get writer's block? If so, how do you deal with that?

A: I often get writer's block on a given project, but I can deal with that by working on something else until the problem on the first project resolves itself in my head.

I also participate in the writing contests from NYC Midnight Madness, which creates the discipline of deadlines and inspires creativity through assigning genres, characters and situations.

Q: What's your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?

A: I've written more than a dozen feature screenplays and more than thirty short scripts. Two of my short scripts have been produced (AUTONOMY and HONEYMOON CAPITAL) and a feature screenplay I adapted from a short story my daughter wrote, THE LAST EARTH GIRL WENT TO SPACE TO FIND GOD, won the Cellardoor Cinema Screenplay Competition in 2012 and is going into production.

Q: Do you live in Los Angeles? If not, do you have any plans to move there?

A: I don't currently live in Los Angeles and don't have plans to move there, but I am certainly willing to relocate as needed to work as a staff TV writer or to work on a feature.

Q: What's next? Are you working on a new script?

A: I am working on several new scripts as well as a novel. These will be finished over the next few years.

Posted Sunday, July 15, 2012