Thank you Dave 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!
It all started as a junior in high school. My English teacher assigned all students to write a story. I didn’t want mine picked so I wrote a story about an ex gang member who went straight, but police still wanted him put away so unfortunately he was picked up. I was assigned with four other people to make a radio show containing street language. My teacher loved it because it showed life in its real light on the tough streets. I loved writing the story, but some of the group didn’t want to curse. Although the story didn’t turn out as it should, I was still complemented as the best story in the class. I wrote other stories which teenagers loved but my parents didn’t and my parents told me to write in my spare time. It took about another thirty-five years before I started again.Weather my screenplays get optioned or not, I will continue.
Things start out with a mental process. Before I write a story I think it out first, then what kind of characters I need to make it work. Once I have thought it out, the first four parts of five in the writing process are all put into one as I write ideas down in chronological order. Editing takes place when a scene is done. I’ve been known to rewrite a scene up to three times before I’m satisfied. The creation and development takes place while I think the story out, and it’s time to let the pen flow.
While I was writing Gimme Shelter Part Five I was working long hours through most of the screenplay. I was always tired and in a lot of pain. Of course the other challenge is keeping the screenplay interesting. Most of the problems resolved when I retired. I was able to think clearer and work faster. As far as keeping the story interesting, that is a constant challenge. I will only know I succeed after the screenplay is read and optioned.
The story must catch the reader within the first ten pages and must process to be interesting the rest of the way through. Many screenplays start out strong, but fade and the reader looses interest about half of the way through.
The film industry is coming back since COVID days.Theaters have changed through the times. Some of the theaters used to show only one movie with hundreds of seats.Sometimes double features were shown. Today you have a central location with ten theatres showing one movie with maybe two hundred seats. This is the way you can show more new productions at a time and make more profit. The screenwriters role is extremely important. More now than ever, more new releases are coming out and the screenwriters have to appeal to the movie goers and streaming.fans. The writer has to make sure their screenplays are interesting.Topics don’t always matter as much as catching the audience with your screenplay.
I tend to stick to drama, thriller and action stories. I have yet to try comedy,or anything else. These three genes fit together to make Gimme Shelter Part Three a great love, sex and action story. It is also a great love story on how two people with immeasurable love and respect for each other work family issues out with the raising of six girls.
I handle things like feedback and criticism well. I have had people give feedback and criticism on the light and heavy nasty ends and handled it all well. I just let it roll off my back.
When my agent sells Gimme Shelter Part Three, Four and Five, I will begin Gimme Shelter Part Six. The story of Sandra O’Shea going through her evolutions in boxing, love and other life challenges. Another truly great story to come.
The role of screenwriting will be extremely important. I also feel there will be more of them due to people wanting to see more movies and variety of television series. There may be more work stoppages due to decreasing pay levels and writers strikes.
We all hear of the story of the overnight success. This happens for very few. You must have an agent know in the industry. Just any agent won’t do. Movie companies and producers all have certain agents they go to. It was described as at least a two year process by my agent which means a lot of waiting and disappointment. Hang in there if a known agent says you have something. Many people that say they are agents just call themselves agents to lead you on and are posers.