MovieBytes Interview: Big Apple Writing Competition

Posted on Jun 5th, 2009 | Category: Interviews

An interview with screenwriter Teresa Lewis regarding the Big Apple Writing Competition.

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

A: ”Rebirth” was inspired by a provocative true story, found “by accident” during genealogy research and soon thereafter– day and night often blurred as I wrote determined to bring these amazing characters to life.

The story opens in the diffused white light of the Lourve, amid a grand library and a gallery of renaissance images. The timeless works of humanity are juxtaposed against the civil violence between religious factions and the corruption of Church and State. Rebirth is set in a world torn between Renaissance and genocide, where a young boy loses his faith and his faith in humanity.

Twelve years later, he’s grown into an amorous young man, a student at the University of Paris, who chooses to be largely oblivious to politics or the swirl of violence that still rushes around him in a country in turmoil. He soon finds love that changes his life, and risks it all in a fight for the civil rights of a minority.

His transformation is based on facing the pain of his past, seeking the meaning of honor, and his love for an extraordinary young woman. Their love story is woven throughout and transcends the turbulent time.

Ultimately, Rebirth reminds us of the perils of unbridled power, and inspires us to to never lose sight of the true power of love and honor.

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

A: I saw the BIG APPLE FF Competition posted on Moviebytes and Withoutabox. Rebirth has garnered 3 WINS, so far, and has placed in approximately one dozen Finalist and Semi-Finalist lists and also ranked in the top ten on Movie bytes/ Winning Scripts (along with many other wonderful screenplays) in the top ten of Drama, Historical and Romance genres.

Someone asked me recently, when are the producers going to realize that winning scripts more likely will be winning films? I and a few other winning screenwriters, are anxiously awaiting their enlightenment. :)

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

A: Very satisfied and impressed with the professionalism! The letter of my win and the prize check and certificate for professional coverage by Script Sharp were all sent promptly.

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

A: Their readers were extremely professional. From the feedback, I could garner that the readers at ScreenplayCoverage.com actually read the script and fully understood it. “Rebirth” was given a Score Card average based upon all the major elements in the story.

I was actually happiest with the “10” for Commercial Appeal, because that is the element I worked most on with my rewrite and polish. My goal was to make “Rebirth” even more commercially viable, without losing the essence of the story.

This win was also, in part, due to the personal review of Linda Seger, author of “Making a Good Script Great”, and especially the guidance of Barb Doyon, at “Extreme Screenwriting”, whose notes were invaluable in my polish of Rebirth, as well as Chris Sloth of the ” Million Dollar Mini Movie Method”, and Heather Waters and Marlene Neubauer of Creative World Awards. Not to forget my friends and my fellow screenwriters, also deserving of credit, who help with encouragement and motivation.

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

A: Actually, the day the news was released, I had a Producer contact me via my website: tllewis.net, to sign a release. I just had my “wonderful” ( yes, wonderful) attorney, look it over and says to go full steam ahead. He also truly believes in the screenplay and calls it a classic. I have been surrounded by wonderful people who truly appreciate the story.

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

A: I am a writer/educator who actually shares 5th Great GrandFathers’ and GrandMother’s with writers Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Alred Tennyson, Sir Walter Scott and Jacqueline Bovier Kennedy. I like to think writing is in my genes. I definitely share their love for great literature.

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

A: I lived in L.A. as a child, and always wanted to go “home” to visit. But with the advent of the Internet, and ‘ at the fingertips’ communication and transportation, it is not as critical to live there as it once was.

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

A: The REBIRTH Sequel… :) Seriously, I’m always writing and actually have several scripts in progress that I often work on simultaneously. I write daily for pleasure and in the case of “Rebirth”, for the passion to tell the story.

I also want to congratulate the other two winning writers, Mike Bencivenga of RUNNING GUN and Stephen Hoover, HORROR COMIC, and wish them the best.