Steven Demmler, Screenplay Semi-Finalist, LISP 2nd Quarter 2020
- Can you please tell us about your daily life?
I primarily work in finance but I grew up working in television. I’m the dad of a 3 year old boy. When you add those things together it equals a lot of conference calls and YouTube videos of trucks and dinosaurs.
- When did you start writing? How often do you write?
Writing is something I’ve done since I was a child. It’s cathartic and sometimes maddening. It‘s only the in past few months, however, that I’ve gained enough confidence to start putting my work out there. Most of my writing is humor/dark humor and satire.
A couple short screenplays have placed as finalists at the Los Angeles International Film Festival and the Inroads Fellowship.
A piece of short satire I wrote has done extremely well on Slackjaw Humor.
I’m most excited that one of my shorts, “That’s A Good Girl” is being produced with production scheduled for late-July 2020.
- How does it feel to have your work recognised?
It’s an honor. I read a lot so I am acutely aware of the high caliber of work floating around. Whether it should or shouldn’t be it is also quite validating.
- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Screenplay?
The hardest part for me is to do away with all the flowery and high-minded prose that might be at home in a short story. To really hone in and focus on visual metaphors instead of primarily lyrical ones.
- 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’ve always been fascinated by taking aphorisms, well-worn wisdom, and the consensus to their logical extremes. That’s what I did here. It took about a week to write the first draft and a few more to step away, then return and make edits.
- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a short screenplay?
The opening image and first page are even more critical than in a feature. You have to get in and get moving fast. I think of it as being in an argument while trapped in an Uber for a short ride. The ride is about to end, so I need to take my shots immediately.
- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing competitions?
It’s a nice way to gauge how others feel about your work. Now, they are certainly not the arbiter of objective quality. But they are the subjective opinion of a given jury. So if you have any designs on filming your piece or otherwise putting your writing out there, they’re one great option.
-Lastly, do you recommend the short story and Flash Fiction writers to give it a go on screenplay writing and LISP?
Of course. Fit your story to the most accommodative format. Don’t needlessly imprison yourself.