As part of the ongoing interview session here at See Me Sell A Screenplay, todayâ€™s interview is with Joe Brennan. Joe is a screenwriter that has placed in a recent screenplay contest. For those of you wondering what it takes to place in a script contest, have a look at the interview with Joe for some insight. And you can read his script on the Philadelphia Screenplay Festival site. (This interview was conducted by email and no edits were made to Joe’s answers.)
Interview – part one:Â
SMS: What is your day job? Is this a career that allows you a lot of time to write or do you find yourself trying to make time to write?
JB: Foodservice Sales. That â€˜s whatâ€™s great about writing, you can do it with any free time. And better yet, when driving on far business calls, I am writing the story in my head. I also edit video for special occasions. Setting Pictures and video to music. A little extra money and it makes me feel good to see people enjoy it so much.
SMS: How many scripts have you completed? If more than the one ( New Hope ), have you entered any others into contests?
JB: I Have 2 completedâ€ New Hope â€ and “Someplace Else,” 1 Almost completedÂ “Breaching Heavenâ€™s Gateâ€ just needs 1 more re-write and 4 others half to Â¾ way done.
SMS: What contests/placements have you earned with New Hope ?
JB: Other than the Philly, Top 20% in Project Greenlight
SMS: Are there any contests that you entered that particular script in that you did not place in? If so, was that before you started placing in contests with it or after? If before, what did you do to change the script that changed the game for you?
JB: Rewrites after rewrites changed the game. If the premise is strong, just master it. Make it the best it can be. Just like you want for yourself, to be the best that you are capable of being.
SMS: What, if any, type of training do you have in screenwriting? Do you do things like writers groups? Do you write with a partner?
JB: I have done a number screenwriting seminars in Philly and LA. I would love to write with a partner for my strength is my imagination not my writing skills. I want someone to take it as I see it in my mind, and put it on paper. I struggle with that. I was up against some great writers in this contest like T. L. Lewis writer of Rebirth. I read her script and thought, I’m not in her writing league, elegant of a writer as she is. I was honored and amazed when she contacted me raving about how much she enjoyed reading New Hope. She could quote, which I thought were the best parts of New Hope. That is amazing in one read.
SMS: Have you earned any money as a screenwriter? Do you get paid to do any other type of writing? If not, do you do any other type of writing?
JB: I make extra money editing video. Still telling stories. That’s OK for now.
SMS: Do you have a writing routine?
JB: No, When the story or drive comes, I write.
Stay tuned for parts two & three of our interview with screenwriter Joe Brennan!