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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.



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