Bryan Matthews

Thank you Bryan for taking the time to answer all of our questions. We are grateful for everything you have shared with us. At Oxford Script Awards we are wishing you a huge success with your next projects. Keep up the amazing work!

Hello Bryan, can you tell us about your background and how you got started in screenwriting?
My background began in the theatre. As my first love, I worked my way through the management and production side of the business where I began to write scripts as well. After producing both theatrical and live music productions, I turned my attention to film production and started adapting plays into screenplays.
What's your writing process like? How do you go about creating characters and developing a story?
I look to real life for inspiration.I try to keep my eyes and ears open to the world around me and when I sit quiet enough…the most alluring stories show themselves through. From there, I grab my pen and my notepad and I hand write everything first; starting with the characters. If you can write characters that people identify with; either good or bad; you compel them to want to follow the story.
Can you talk about a recent project you've worked on and the challenges you faced while writing it?
I’m currently working on a novel adaptation regarding a human rights activist who was wrongfully executed. The challenge has been trying to walk the fine line of reality vs cinematic exaggeration because I really want to tell the story right.
What do you think is the most important element of a great screenplay?
Characters and pace. If you have characters people are intrigued by, and a story that moves at the right pace, you have a good chance of creating a screenplay that people will enjoy reading…but don’t forget formatting and spelling as well.
How do you feel about the current state of the film industry and the role of screenwriters in it?
I am hopeful for the future of the film industry. As we continue to see the industry come back to full production, there is a need for content and therefore a tremendous opportunity for screenwriters to have their works considered.
How do you approach writing for different genres and audiences?
I don’t necessarily focus on the genre or the audience. I focus on the story and it defines the genre and the audience.
How do you handle feedback and criticism?
I love it. I hate it. But it all circumstances, I remove myself personally from it and look for ways to improve the story based on hearing it objectively.
Can you talk about any upcoming projects or collaborations you're excited about?
I recently served as Executive Producer on episodes 2 and 3 of a short film trilogy, “Things I’ve Made My Roommate Do”, written and directed by Mylissa Fitzsimmons. Episode 1 is out now and showing at film festivals both domestic and abroad. It is receiving rave reviews and we are very excited for the release of the next two episodes which have wrapped filming and are in post.
How do you see the role of screenwriting evolving in the future?
As long as there are films, there will be a need for screenwriters. We are the words. AI may be effective, but I wouldn’t call it creative.
What advice would you give to aspiring screenwriters?
Write. Write. Write…and when you’re tired of writing…have a bourbon, then write some more. You will hear many more “No’s” than you ever will a “Yes” but no matter what they say…write.