I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
because film is the medium of our time and
there are stories and experiences which it is uniquely qualified to tell. I
seem to be motivated to write about issues and film is a very powerful way of
reaching a large audience.
I know I've succeeded........
I think I might have succeeded when the words
on the page somehow (mysteriously) move me to laugh or cry.
My inspiration to write JOURNEY
came from a kind of anguished awareness of how
it feels to be a child caught up in an adult drama that they don't understand
because nobody will tell them what's really going on. Before I started writing
for the screen, I published 8 books of children's and teen fiction (in the
UK), and have always felt drawn to exploring intense childhood experiences.
What inspired you to write?
Richard Severy: I The spark for a story I find comes when two
different ideas combine unexpectedly, in this case divorce from a
child's POV and the movie Invasion of The Body-snatchers. The
"innocence" of the 1950's and the artificial constructs of Hollywood
create a perfect backdrop.
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
Richard Severy: I prepared to write screenplays by reading
scripts I admire, watching movies more critically, attending a
screenwriting seminar and researching books on the subject.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Richard Severy: Journey to Avalon is my third script. My first,
Dirty Girls (log line: Female mechanics spark gender war), won third
place in your FilmMakers International Contest last year. Avalon is an
adaptation of a novel I wrote some years ago. It took about 2 months
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
Richard Severy: I do not have a set routine other than to try
to write every day when I am actually working on a script, but I find
that a hike on the mountain before breakfast often generates fresh
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
Richard Severy: Anything which enhances a writer's confidence
in him or herself has to be good and recognition does wonders for the
FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the
FilmMakers.com / The Radmin Company Screenwriting Competition?
Richard Severy: I entered this contest because independent film
is where itís at.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Richard Severy: I would urge aspiring writers to read anything
they admire in their chosen genre.
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
Richard Severy: Besides writing I am passionate about food,
mountains, music and poetry (among other things).
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
Richard Severy: I admire Gary Ross for Pleasantville, films
like Memento that play with the form, anything by the Coen brothers or
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Richard Severy: I'd love to work with Jon Amiel - Singing
Detective(TV version), Spy Who Knew Too Little, etc.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Richard Severy: I think Philip Seymore Hoffman or Antonio
Banderas would be great for the father in Avalon. And Valentina de
Angelis would be perfect for the young girl (if she's not now too
old). She was outstanding in Campbell Scott's wonderful 2003 film, Off
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Richard Severy: My advice to aspiring writers is Never give up!
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Richard Severy: I'm currently adapting another of my novels for
the screen, a satirical comedy called "The Missionary Journal of Rulon
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
Richard Severy: In 5 years I hope to have at least one film
under my belt.