FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards 2005 - Interview
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FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards

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Anita Skibski
Sixth Place  Winner
Anita Skibski
of Algonquin, IL

I am a housewife with a secret life as a screenwriter. For years, only the dog and I knew about it. This has been my breakout year. With my youngest child off to full-day school, I polished my script and entered it in several competitions. This script is currently a quarterfinalist in the Nicholl Fellowships competition, and has placed in three others, with more results pending.

About a thousand years ago, I studied Rhetoric at the University of Illinois under Paul Friedman, an excellent author/professor who teaches the nuance of good storytelling.


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

when it hit me what a challenge it is to be creative and concise inside the formal framework of a screenplay...while making it look effortless. What an exciting art.

I know I've succeeded........ 

when someone pays me for something that came out of my head.

My inspiration to write MINE.......

came while I was reading the story of David and Bathsheba, and wondering why she did what she did.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Anita Skibski: When I was in sixth grade, I wrote a comedic essay on Little Jack Horner. It was such a rush, I knew I'd never be able to stop.

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

Anita Skibski: I over-researched my subject matter. But now I know that's not such a bad thing to do.

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

Anita Skibski: 'Mine' is my second script, and took about three years to finish because I was still learning screenwriting. With the first script, I had no idea what I was doing, technically, and I broke about a million basic rules. But I finished it! And then I was hooked.

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

Anita Skibski:
When the kids were little, it was hard. Now that they're all in school, I'm settling into a good writing routine. I'm sharpest in the morning.

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

Anita Skibski: I believe screenplay contests are a fantastic way to get your name out into the world. Placing highly -- or winning -- these reputable contests gives you instant credibility when you go to Town to shop your script.

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

Anita Skibski: FilmMakers has an excellent reputation in the contest circuit, and has lived up to it. FilmMakers also offers more than just cash prizes, though we love those, too. Getting our scripts into the hands of people who can make them into movies is the real prize.

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

Anita Skibski: As many as you can find. The only way to learn is to read the good, the bad, and the gray in between.

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

Anita Skibski: My four kids. Children are the ultimate creative work.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Anita Skibski: William Goldman. Because he knows everything.

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

Anita Skibski:
For this script? Someone who understands the South.

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

Anita Skibski: Emma Thompson. She has never disappointed me.

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

Anita Skibski: There's nothing wrong with writing two screenplays at once. Or six.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Anita Skibski: Finishing my thriller, then my suburban comedy, then...

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

Anita Skibski: Dancing naked in the rain with my Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

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