FilmMakers.com / The Radmin Company 2004 Screenwriting Competition

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Jud Richards
Ninth Place
 
Winner
Jud Richards
of Oakville,
ON, Canada
Screenplay
THE ROOKIE CHRONICLES
Comedy / Drama
Biography:

Jud Richards is an aspiring screenwriter who has completed three feature length scripts to date. Heís acted in several independent movies north of the border and looks to continue his success in Los Angeles.

Interview

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

When I saw Pulp Fiction for the first time. Tarantinoís writing style really blew me away. It was 1994 when "Pulp Fiction", "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Interview with the Vampire" came out and it was extremely refreshing to see movies driven by immaculate dialogue. By this time, I already had a notebook filled with ideas and fragmented dialogue. Those films really inspired me to take it a bit further.

I know I've succeeded........ 

When Iím able to attend the first public screening of my first film. A successful writing career truly starts from that point. 

My inspiration to write THE ROOKIE CHRONICLES.......

Came from a personal experience during a time when I was on the verge of a professional career in sports. A reflection of that experience, coupled with the typical media coverage of professional athletes fueled me in completing it. 

 

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FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Jud Richards: The constant bore of seeing the same manufactured sports movie was an inspiration to write something original. 

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

Jud Richards: I really didnít want anything to interfere with the flow of the story, so I basically wrote the script from start to finish. It was not long after ďFade OutĒ was on the page, that I spent countless hours researching the industry and how to properly format a script. I read pretty much everything I could get my hands on and spent the next 6 months editing and formatting it. Formatting the script on my own really helped me understand how a professional script is put together. Final Draft looks after that now, but editing is still the longest part of my writing process.

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

Jud Richards: The Rookie Chronicles is my third feature length script. It took me a week of twelve hour days to complete the core story. It took me about seven months to edit it to the point where I was completely confident in it. When you can read the script in its entirety and visualize a great movie, youíre done.  

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

Jud Richards: Not really. Iím constantly thinking about good script ideas and dialogue so when something good stands out Iíll just write it down. It can take months to get some notebooks filled up with good material. Once I reach that point, Iíll sit down away from everybody and write the script. Iím at the point where I have material for three additional features which Iím about to start shortly.
 

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

Jud Richards: Absolutely. You could be sitting at home with an Oscar caliber screenplay in your hands but it doesnít mean shit if youíre the only one reading it. As an unrepresented writer, the toughest part of the job comes after youíve finished your script. You have to devote yourself to get your work into the hands of people in the industry, and if you have few connections it can be tough. I didnít view Filmmakers.com as a contest, I viewed it as an opportunity to get read by agents and producers. Finishing in the top ten has provided me with that opportunity and has pushed me closer to selling my script. 

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

Jud Richards: A lot of the competitions out there are for cash prizes only. FilmMakers.com was one of the few that really encompasses everything a writer strives for. With FilmMakers, you enter into the competitive realm of Hollywood with the ability to get your script read by professionals in the industry, with the chance to obtain representation. Itís also one of the few forums that does not discriminate on geographical location. The contest is open to writers from around the world so you are literally competing against the best.

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

Jud Richards: Thatís an easy answer. Pulp Fiction. The reason why, is you have to learn from the best to become the best. Tarantino wrote his script the way he wanted to and it reads that way. If you want to get an overall sense of how a script should be then I recommend you read it.  

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

Jud Richards: I enjoy acting. Iíve acted in some independent films in Toronto. I relax when Iím hanging out with friends. I also enjoy touring most of the major cities in the United States and Iím really looking forward to checking out the LA scene. 

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Jud Richards: I canít narrow it down to one. My all-time favorites are Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Kaufman and Martin Scorsese. These guys are the best at writing character driven films. In my opinion, Scorsese doesnít receive the recognition he deserves as a brilliant screenwriter. GoodFellas and Casino are two of the best.

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

Jud Richards: If I had a choice between anybody, Iíd love to work with Martin Scorsese. I love the way he uses violence and music in his films. Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez would be cool as well, but if anybody could get a Rolling Stones song in my movie it would be Scorsese. 

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

Jud Richards: Johnny Depp, hands down. If actors where athletes and it was sudden death overtime, you would want Johnny Depp to be on your starting line. His ability to take on wide ranging roles will put him up with the best when all is said and done.

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

Jud Richards: Never force yourself into writing. Once you have that original idea, let time take its course. 

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Jud Richards: Iím currently finishing a short story for Playboy Magazine. Once I finish that, I will be starting my next feature.

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

Jud Richards: Hopefully in the credits of your favorite films.

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