Amaris J. Gagnon, LISP Screenplay Semi-Finalist
-Can you please tell us about you?
I'm 26 years old and from Agawam, Massachusetts. I currently live in Los Angeles CA. I started writing short stories when I was 12 and then eventually learned playwriting, which turned into screen-writing. The genres I enjoy writing are horror, science fiction, and drama. I recently wrote and directed a short play which previewed at a small theater in Los Angeles back in January. I love seeing my work come to life. It’s beautiful to see people connect with my characters. I currently work in production at NBCUniversal and am fighting for a career in writing in film.
- When did you start writing? We want to learn all about your writing life!
I started writing when I was 12. I write every-day for about an hour. I would write longer, but because my work hours are sometimes 8AM-8PM…I usually write on my lunch breaks or just before bed. I have numerous stories published on websites such as Creepypasta and Thoughtcatalog. I was nominated for best feature horror screenplay at the Oregon Scream Week Film Festival (2019), Quarter Finalist at Killer Shorts (2020), and Semi-Finalist for my screenplay at the Red Flight Pictures Screenplay Awards. I’m currently applying to the fellowships for television writing at all the studios and trying my best to be better and to write better.
- How did you feel when you learned that you are a Semi-Finalist on The London Independent Story Prize?
I was super excited that someone liked my story and my character. Thank you!
- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Screenplay?
The hardest thing is the re-write. I. rewrote one of my screenplays 8 times before it worked. That’s 8 drafts over two years…but what counts is never giving up on your story. If you believe in it and know you’ve put in the work to make it work, then screw what other people think. Write, write smart, and write well. That cannot ever fail you. Oh – and EDIT! EDIT! EDIT!
-How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected script? Is there a story behind your story? And how long have you been working on it?
I came up with this story a couple years ago when I read some lore on haunted objects. I thought it would be interesting to write a story about a haunted painting. So I did! I even pitched it to the horror company Crypt TV. It was rejected, but hey! I learned what not to do for the future.
- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a short screenplay?
I think if you’re going to write a screenplay, try writing it as a short story first. When you’re done, have your friends read it. Then re-write it!
- What's the best thing about writing competitions?
The best part of writing for competitions is because it gives you a reason. It’s also important to have people read your work. It’s fun, thrilling, and it gives you access to a spotlight you may not have had before.
-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on writing a Screenplay and LISP?