Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Amy Quick Parrish

An interview with screenwriter Amy Quick Parrish regarding the Moondance Writing Competition.

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

A: The Court of Lions is an epic love story set against the final bloody years of Spain’s Christian/Muslim conflict. A passionate young Christian Spanish woman held captive in a Moorish harem questions her loyalties when she falls in love with the Sultan who killed her father.

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

A: It's funny-- I had this idea that Moondance would either love it or hate it. My script has a female protagonist and a lot of strong roles for women but there is violence-- sword fights, battles. The point of the script, obviously, is in overcoming the violence-- the idea that love can overcome the cycle of hatred that comes with endless ideological wars.

The Court of Lions was also a Semi-Finalist in the 2007 Slamdance competition and made the top 15% of the Nicholl Fellowships.

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

A: Yes -- they were very fast. I submitted the script in the late spring -- right before the deadline -- and sometime in May the director of Moondance, Elizabeth English, called to say she'd just read my script, loved it, and thought it should be a movie.

Q: Were you given any feedback on your script? If so, did you find the feedback helpful?

A: In addition to the phone conversation I had with Elizabeth English, I also attended several panels at the Moondance Film Festival where I received feedback on my pitch and logline. The whole Moondance experience has been wonderful.

Q: Has your success in this contest helped you market your script? Were you contacted by any agents, managers or producers?

A: Where The Spirit of Moondance Award has made the most difference has been with the contacts I already have. A friend gave me a referral to a great agent, I met a producer who's taking a look at it, and I’ve had quite a few requests to read the script. So we'll see.

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

A: I taught high school English and Spanish for six years after graduating from the University of Michigan. With our Spanish program, I took the students to Spain for two weeks every other year -- a great way to do paid research!

I’ve written several other screenplays— a Latino/a - oriented script set in Texas, a superhero script and a supernatural rom com. I’ve directed a short documentary about a band called Frank Allison and the Odd Sox and I’m just finishing up a short narrative that I wrote and directed. I’m hoping to get those into some festivals.

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

A: I would love to live in Los Angeles but right now my budget has led me to Austin, Texas. I love Austin. There’s a great film scene here and they make a mean carne guisada taco -- not to mention all the music. I’d definitely move to LA when the time is right. I had a great time in Los Angeles this fall for the Moondance Film Festival.

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

A: I have so much fun living in my own little escapist world -- I'm always working on something! Right now I’m working on a new superhero script with a female protagonist -- I'm really excited about it. I’m considering delving into the land of comic books if I can team up with an artist. And I’ve got a few more historical Spanish stories floating around in my head. It’s a lot of fun.

Posted Monday, November 12, 2007