MovieBytes Interview:Dream Quest International Screenwriting Competition

Posted on Feb 19th, 2010 | Category: Interviews

An interview with screenwriter Teresa Lewis regarding the Dream Quest Writing Competition.

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

A: ”Rebirth” is a mix of lust, love, peril and passion, inspired by a provocative true story, as it opens in the diffused white light of the Louvre, amid Renaissance images and timeless works of humanity. All of this beauty is juxtaposed against the cruelty and corruption of Church and State. “Rebirth” unfolds in this world torn between Renaissance and genocidein a time when speaking your mind can literally lead to the loss of your head.

Yet, as Nostradamus notes, “many are no longer able to accept the corruption of popes or the commands of Kings.” The Huguenot and Humanists are at the forefront in this civil disobedience and become targets of oppression and tyranny.

The central character, EDMUND DU CHASTEL, experiences this inhumanity as a mere boy of ten years, when he witnesses the beheadings of a hundred Huguenot noblemen. Young Edmund’s face is splattered by blood and tears. Traumatized by the butchery; this young orphan loses his faith in humanity. Twelve years later he is an amorous young man, a student at the University of Paris, a pacifist artist, who chooses to be oblivious to politics or the swirl of violence that still overflows in this country in chaos. Instead, he escapes into a life of pleasure as he seeks fulfillment and compromise in the arms of women.

One day, painting a portrait of a nude in the French countryside, he glimpses the sight of a stunning maiden running through wild flowers. Her name is GENEVIEVE (17). Little does Edmund know that he fixes his gaze upon the woman who will eventually shape and change his life — forever.

Atop a grassy knoll dotted with headstones and daffodils — Edmund and Genevieve try to come to grips with their own mortality in this world of torture and tribulation. They both agree that they can’t allow the dread of dying to rob them of their joy of living. Edmund believes that some things never die, that we all leave a legacy in our own life stories. Edmund’s real transformation is partially based on facing the pain of his past, his search for the meaning of honor, and his unexpected love for an extraordinary young woman, Genevieve. She is the love that changes his life and helps him find the courage to face his fears. Their love story sizzles as it warms the heart and transcends the turbulent time.

Edmund’s journey evolves from that of a fool into the hero’s journey as his conscience and courage are tested when he finds love that changes his life– only to risk it all in a fight for civil liberty.

Rebirth is the story of the abuse of absolute power versus the true power of love and honor. Rebirth is a tribute to all who share the ideals that enlightened people will not subject themselves to tyranny, but will rule themselves with wisdom, tolerance, and justice for all.

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 tend to enter contests that offer coverage and a score card, at the least. I feel this has helped with the tweaking of Rebirth, to make it tighter, more commercial and has possibly led to the past three First place wins. This will be the Fourth and the feedback/coverage was the most comprehensive to date. It was obvious they read and understood the script.

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: Dream Quest/Script Vamp is one of the most professional contest that I’ve entered, and more than meeting deadlines, as they did, they treat a writer with the professionalism and respect they also deserve. Some of the bigger contests you tend to feel like they just want your entry fee… but not DreamQuest, they have been amazing.

Q: How long did it take you to write the script? Did you write an outline beforehand? How many drafts did you write?

A: Having read the book “Outliers” I believe I have put my 10,000 hours into “Rebirth” alone, not counting several other scripts. Rebirth was/is a work of passion, a story that I was literally driven to write. What began as more of a novel, was tweaked after hours of research and dozens of re-writes into a tight commercial script.

Writers have to accept that writing is rewriting and if it’s not the script you want to spend months with, write something else. Rebirth was a script that was difficult to let go of , because I truly loved the time, place and characters.

Q: What kind of software did you use to write the script, if any? What other kinds of writing software do you use?

A: Moviemagic. Although I’m sure Final Draft or Montage would probably also be great.

Q: Do you write every day? How many hours per day?

A: I live to writer. Yes, every day, as many hours as possible.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with that?

A: Writer’s What? Very rarely. Nature, a starlit night, running Water, fountains, waterfalls, streams, ocean waves, even a warm shower stimulates alpha waves. A sure cure most of the time.

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

A: I am a scholar and student of life, a writer/educator who thinks writing is in my genes. I discovered this love at a very early age.

Only recently did I also discover that I actually do share distant great grandfathers’ and great grandmother’s with writers Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Alred Lord Tennyson and Sir Walter Scott. I definitely share their love for great literature.

I also won a First Place award for another short script, ”Beyond Reason” based on the amorous scientist ahead of her time, Emilie du Chatelet. She was best known as the love of Voltaire’s life. He knew she was far more.

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

A: Lived in L.A. a few years as a child, and still have family there. I’d love to have yet another reason to visit.

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

A: The REBIRTH Sequel…:), the bio of Frederick Douglass “A Lion’s Heart”, A fantasy of epic proportion “In the Days of Kings and Queens”, and three comedy shorts:) Seriously, I’m always writing and actually have several shorts complete as well as a few feature scripts and playing with an adaptation, in progress. I often work on several scripts simultaneously. I write daily for pleasure and in the case of “Rebirth”– for the passion to tell this amazing story.