Watch the October 2016 Winning Short Screenplay Reading.
Written by James R. Adams II and Lance Larson
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Although grizzly, the action and title are just strong metaphors for our need to face the things we need to face in order to grow and evolve. It is necessary to open a Third Eye; necessary to face straight on the things we fear and avoid.
Get to know the winning writer:
What is your screenplay about?
My screenplay is inspired by a scene in a novel-length manuscript I’m revising. We give it no context within the larger story, which lent it to some experimental areas. The statement simmered down is this: View your pain, fear, and uncertainty as an opportunity and not something run from. Grow through it, don’t just go through it.
What genres does your screenplay under?
Experimental, thriller, suspense, net-noir. avant-garde, psychological horror. If you want to stretch it, there’s a spiritual niche because the message is spiritual.
Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
Cuckold Picasso. Visceral experience
How would you describe this script in two words?
Cuckold Picasso. Visceral experience
What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
I love this question. Whew. Back through childhood: National Lampoon’s Vacation, Dazed and Confused, Fight Club ( A nightly basis for a year or two), Due Date (was always on cable and I always watched it, Usual Suspects, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Goodfellas, Saving Private Ryan. All a while back. I haven’t looped any films in awhile, but I’m a big looper. I know I’m missing somethings but I can’t remember right now. As Good As it Gets I watched a lot. Oh yeah, anything Tarrantino. Especially Pulp Fiction (that may take the cake) and Reservoir Dogs. Pulp Fiction more than any other movie for sure.
How long have you been working on this screenplay?
It was a short I collaborated with Lance Larson on. It was inspired by my novel-length manuscript. We had a handful of conversation over the course of a week or so. That was it.
How many stories have you written?
My book, and this short. Poetry when I’m procrastinating. Probably what I’m naturally best at. It shows in the script.
What motivated you to write this screenplay?
Lance approached me about a short. I said sure if it’s about my book. So the original motivation was to leverage myself in publishing and screen writing. As far as the content, we went where the creative process took us. It developed into a project with juxtaposition between action and dialogue (inspired by body scan meditations I listen to to sleep). Seemed very cold blooded and detached. Calm cool killer. But the message that emerged was highly personal and spatial. We connected spiritually, which is something I’d wanted to come through in anything I write.
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
None really. Collaborating with someone who you vibe with makes writing a screenplay a piece of cake compared to a novel or doing it alone. It was fun , light and easy. No obstacles, except that I had to convince him I wouldn’t write it unless it was connected to my book.
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Life, really living. Redemption. Inspiring and being inspired. Seeking. Spiritual connection and meaning in my life. Enjoying the ride. I want to do something I love and am really good at. That’s a dream come true.
Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
BELIEVE BELIEVE BELIEVE. If you have a nagging voice that has been whispering “you should write” and you are doing something you don’t particularly love, listen to that voice. It’s not delusional. It’s God. It’s inspiration. It’s a seed. It will drive you mad if you don’t try. If it stinks? Cross it off your bucket list.
You must have an iron will. If it isn’t a true passion, you will be tested and you will give up. Even then, if the voice doesn’t go away, you will try again. It’s like working out. One sentence sometimes is all you’ll get one day. It’s okay. Keep pushing. Take a sledgehammer to mental barriers. When the wall breaks, you might be amazed at how fast things start pouring in. But you have to believe. BELIEVE BELIEVE BELIEVE. Even if you can’t find a way through a part, let it go. It will emerge. That’s why writing is so spiritual for me. Things appear from out of nowhere. It’s a release. And be secure. Don’t doubt yourself. It may seem like crap now, but keep going. Have someone you trust read and give you feedback. Real feedback. People with an eye for talent can spot it very quickly.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting: Sean Ballantyne
Editing: John Johnson