FilmMakers.com / The Radmin Company 2003 Screenwriting Competition

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Noelle C. Nelson

Third Place
 
Winner

Noelle C. Nelson
of Malibu,
CA
Screenplay
WHEN PIGS FLY
Fantasy
Biography: Born in Manhattan to a French mother and an American Dad, Noelle Nelson, at the ripe old age of six months, came to Southern California where she stills lives and thrives. Travel is a cherished pastime, which Noelle enjoys whenever her schedule permits. Other interests include voracious reading (mysteries and courtroom drama, of all things), Latin Jazz, and snorkeling wherever warm tropical waters are to be found.

Professionally speaking, "Dr. Noelle" is a clinical psychologist, author, speaker and trial consultant. She has written numerous personal growth books and articles. Her most recent book, "The Power of Appreciation: The Key to A Vibrant Life " (Beyond Words Publishing), will be released in Fall 2003.  Noelle Nelson also writes and produces a widely aired 90-second daily radio program, "The Problem Solution Lady."

Interview

I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter ....

ideas came to me as images and dialogue, and as I put these down on paper, I got so intrigued by the unfolding of the story, I couldn't stop writing. I was hooked. 

I know I've succeeded....

a)   my screenplays become movies 

b)   people are inspired, uplifted, entertained, moved or touched by what I've written. When they see themselves reflected in what I write.  

My inspiration to write WHEN PIGS FLY.....

came to me as I was sitting quietly in meditation one day, as this marvelous full-sky image of a magnificent winged horse crashing to earth, and a boy finding him. I wanted to know what happened to them! I had to write "When Pigs Fly" to find out.

*****************************************************************

 

FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Noelle C. Nelson: I've always loved to write. It's my favorite form of communication. I've written (over the years) poems, lots of non-fiction articles & books, and umpteen reports of all sorts. This is my first foray into fiction. I thought I was going to write a novel, but the writing kept shaping itself as a script.

FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?

Noelle C. Nelson: At first, nothing. I thought I was writing a novel! Once I realized I was writing a screenplay, I read lots of books about "How to write a screenplay" and started looking at movies with a different eye. I read scripts. I studied movies I enjoyed to figure out how they were written.


FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?

Noelle C. Nelson: Yes. Approximately 3 - 4 months.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?

Noelle C. Nelson:
Sort of yes and sort of no. Anytime I can free up a couple of hours, I will write. Since I'm so used to writing, generally speaking, it's easy for me to get into. My preference is for mornings, and I always start off in long hand. I write pages and pages of ideas, bits of dialogue, scene descriptions, and so forth, without censoring any of it. I throw a lot of it out and rewrite endlessly.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?

Noelle C. Nelson: Absolutely. I think it really helps to submit your work to people who can evaluate it and assess it. It's a great reality check. It's also a wonderful opportunity to get my work "out there" to the people who need to see it in order to transform the written word into a MOVIE!

FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers.com / The Radmin Company Screenwriting Competition?

Noelle C. Nelson: I wanted to put my work in front of the industry, and I had heard from friends who are screenwriters, that the FilmMakers competition was highly regarded and very beneficial to those who won.

FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?

Noelle C. Nelson: Jagged Edge. Because I think it shows you so many of the elements of a good screenplay: structure, building suspense, character development and so on.

FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?

Noelle C. Nelson:
As corny as it sounds, I'm passionate about life! I'm astounded by the world we live in, fascinated by the people I meet in the course of my daily life, and just blown away by the utter beauty of nature. As to specifics, I love to read (voraciously), travel (mostly "eco-travel"), be with friends, play with my dogs - the list is endless.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Noelle C. Nelson: I don't have a good answer for this! I'm too new at it, and just bedazzled by all the talent out there.

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?

Noelle C. Nelson:
If I'm forced to pick just one . . .

Steven Spielberg. The range, depth, innovativeness, artistic courage and
willingness to take risks evident in all his work, plus his marvelous "eye."

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?

Noelle C. Nelson: Another impossible question! There is so much talent out there.

Michael Caine. He completely immerses himself into his character with passion, sincerity and utter "truth," all the while expressing that character's uniqueness as well as his common humanity. And he has done this with countless characters, never repeating himself.

(of course I'd also love to work with Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Renee Zellweger, and oh so many more gifted artists)

FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?

Noelle C. Nelson:
You need feedback. Have several people you trust read your first draft and listen, listen, listen. Be flexible. Be willing to make changes. But always be true to yourself and your vision.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Noelle C. Nelson: More writing! I just finished my second screenplay, "Angel" and I have another one in the works. I just love writing scripts and can't seem to get enough of doing it.

FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?

Noelle C. Nelson: In a darkened movie theatre watching one of my screenplays come to life, in absolute and humble awe of the pleasure the audience is taking from my work.

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