• LISP Team

Fred Perry, Finalist

Fred Perry, Screenplay Finalist, LISP 3rd Quarter 2020

- Can you please tell us about you and your daily life?

I am an educator, working exclusively with students diagnosed as significantly disabled; mentally, emotionally and physically. I write whenever I have free time.


- When did you start writing? How often do you write? 

I started writing when I was a parking attendant at Universal Studios, many, many moons ago. Since 2012 my short and feature screenplays have won a number of film and screenplay festivals, including: the PAGE International Screenplay Awards, Austin Comedy Film Festival, Feel The Reel International Film Festival, Palm Street Films Screenplay Competition, Richmond International Film Festival, Omaha Film Festival, Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, DC Shorts Film Festival and Screenplay Competition, Space and Time Film Festival, Fantastic Planet Film Festival, et al. 


- How does it feel to have your work recognised?

Having my work recognized is encouraging, and one hell of a rush.

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Screenplay? 

For me, the best part of writing a screenplay occurs prior to the actual physical writing portion; it’s when the story idea forms in my head. That’s when the hard part starts.  


-  How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected screenplay? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it?

The initial idea for the script was based on something that actually occurred. A friend of mine, who was fed up with this world, decided to end it all one night, and attempted to hang himself. Fortunately the thin rope snapped and he only managed to break both ankles. For some dark reason, I thought that was funny as hell. Plus, he pulled through his depression and was fine thereafter.

The original version took a week or so to complete. But it was 15-pages too long, and full of unnecessary dialogue. So after a couple of months to regain some objectivity, I took another sweep at it and cut it by half.   

- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a short screenplay?

I only have a couple of thoughts, and since they are totally subjective, I don’t know that they would count as “tips: per se, but here they are: Go ahead and overwrite your first draft, then put it aside (Do Not Read) for at least a month. Then reread as objectively as possible, and start the heavy-duty editing/slaughtering process.


- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about competitions?

The best thing is having one’s work recognized as worth reading. The hardest thing is reading the following: “Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately…” 


-Lastly, do you recommend writers to give it a go LISP?

Yes, I would encourage all writers to submit to this event.



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