MovieBytes Interview: ScriptVamp’s Dream Quest 2010 Short Screenplay Contest

Posted on Oct 4th, 2010 | Category: Interviews

“BEYOND REASON”An interview with screenwriter T.L. Lewis regarding the ScriptVamp/Short Writing Competition.

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

A: “Beyond Reason” is a true story, based on the life and love of Émilie Du Chatelet, and the famous, clever writer/philosopher, Voltaire. Voltaire is outspoken and always in trouble, mostly for his sarcastic criticism of church and state. Through Voltaire’s wit and charm, he is rarely at a loss for words, until he meets his match, the intellectual and sensual Émilie.

Émilie is a brilliant scientist, far ahead of her time, but best known for her blending of science with seduction. “Beyond Reason” a humorous glimpse at the polarity and passions of men and women and a tribute to all who know the ups and downs of true love and for those who do not quite fit into the “norms” of society.

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 was first awed by Script Vamp’s professionalism and depth of coverage several months ago, when my feature screenplay “Rebirth” won their Grand Prize award.

“Rebirth”has three other first place wins and is ranked top five on Moviebytes Winning scripts, with three other awards for “Beyond Reason.” This is not to boast but to reveal my experience with more than a few screenwriting contests.

Therefore, I can easily say that Script Vamp/ Dream Quest is one of the best and I would recommend this contest, without hesitation, to all screenwriters for inexpensive, yet invaluable feedback.

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: All promises kept without any glitches whatsoever and the professional feedback alone is worth the price.

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

A: “Beyond Reason” took only a few weeks for the first draft once I felt close to the characters. “Beyond Reason” was the Winner at WildSound in Toronto a couple of years ago, complete with a staged reading. I had actually put the script aside and forgot about it, until I decided to enter it in Dream Quest for feedback. One day I plan to write the feature version with more conflict and tragedy inherent in Voltaire’s and Émilie’s relationship, as Script Vamp and WildSound suggested.

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

A: Actually, I use Movie Magic and Final Draft after winning both in previous screenwriting competitions. They are both much better than simple word processing programs and make formatting for screenplays and other scripts a breeze.

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

A: I write EVERY DAY, even if I have to stay up into the wee hours. I go into withdrawal if I miss one day. I’m also an unapologetic workaholic and never have to be pushed to do anything I love. Procrastination is not a part of my world view.

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

A: Rarely ever do I have writer’s block. If so, I relax by surrounding myself with nature, fountains, the sound of waterfalls, yoga, a warm shower, or listen to music that inspires the genre I’m working in. I do whatever it takes to stimulate the alpha waves conducive to creativity.

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

A: I am a writer by nature and related to several famous writers, am a psychologist by education, an educator by profession, and a lover of great literature. Yes, on other screenplays, one epic that could even be considered for mini-series development. I have a love of research and writing, and am always learning, especially the craft of screenwriting.

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

A: I lived in L.A. in my early years and would love to visit. I actually have family still there. Thankfully, in the 21st century, direct communication is a much simpler matter.

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

A: In addition to marketing “Rebirth, I’m working on several ‘coming of age’ comedies, and one simply crude comedy. (I may need an alias.:) I’m also writing and polishing two other historical epics, one adaptation, one biography, and am challenging myself with an original pre-historical fantasy script. I really love crossing genres and working on several scripts at the same time. I am never bored.

I would also like to congratulate the top two winners and finalists. As writers, we have to encourage one another and above all–keep doing what we love that makes us feel most alive–to keep writing!

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