Sammy Kistell, Finalist
Sammy Kistell, Screenplay Finalist, LISP 3rd Quarter 2020
- Can you please tell us about you and your daily life? I studied at Bradford University in Media Makeup and Special Effects so my background though still in film was not in Screen writing. After several years working in both film, theatre and Music Videos I had several film ideas of my own and would just jot down. - When did you start writing? How often do you write? I originally had an idea for a Greek Mythology Fantasy Feature Script which originated from a school project I did when I was 7 years old. Many film colleagues kept saying try writing a few shorts first but I had so many ideas for the feature I carried on my own path. Though I had seen and worked on many scripts doing makeup breakdowns I had no idea how to even begin. So my first draft was a bit of a mish mash of ideas. I needed help. I had no idea how to format and I was not great with computer programs. I began collaborating with a fellow film maker and so far we have several drafts completed. I began writing more ideas this time solo for my short screenplay DANDELION WISHES. I was navigating the script program and trying to flush out my characters as best i could. Writing for long periods of time. My mind was hopping from fairies to Greek mythology creatures. Not a great combo for any writer but somehow it worked. I finally completed Dandelion Wishes this year. The scary thing now was allowing others to read it so I researched various script competitions first and entered. - How does it feel to have your work recognised? Since February this year Dandelion Wishes as just picked up several wins and placed Finalist and semi finalist in over 10 competitions. I feel like each placing feels like a dream come true. Its thrilling to know other professionals like my story and all the hard work and long hours writing and re writing paid off. - What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Screenplay? The best thing for me was seeing my story come to life from my imagination. Writing was like escapism and tapping into inner child memories of making Dandelion Wishes. I think the most difficult thing was firstly navigating the script program and editing the script. - 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? I love the Fantasy genre .With my script I wanted to tell a story of a young woman who's loss of her mother at an early age impacted on her ability to relax and truly enjoy her life and release her inner child. DANDELION WISHES hops in and out of a world of fairies and make believe to the reality of what long term grief can do. I thought about when I was a child. I was always a dreamer and summer to me as a child was making Dandelion wishes. Out of curiosity and to help with my idea I started to research Dandelions and folklore. This helped me greatly with blending ideas for Dandelion Wishes. I spent in total two years on and off writing Dandelion Wishes in between writing other ideas. - Can you please give us a few tips about writing a short screenplay? For me it was research, writing, research, writing and most of all persistence and a sprinkle of inner child. - What's the best thing and the hardest thing about competitions?
I think rejection can be very hard especially with no real feedback. It can leave you feeling where did you go wrong. The key is to research more reputable competitions like LISP and keep trying. Where one person doesn't like it another will love it. -Lastly, do you recommend writers to give it a go LISP?
Yes I do. I am thrilled and feel lifted by placing as Finalist. . The jury are highly experienced in writing and the social media platform and communication they offer is excellent. A massive thank you :)