I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
when I made silent super 8mm films with my
brothers growing up.
I know I've succeeded........
when each script I write is better than the
My inspiration to write HOME.......
came from making casual observations of people in my work environment.
What inspired you to write?
Romeo Ciolfi: It was a need. Writing helps me understand things around me. It allows me to filter the world through words, action and dialogue.
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
Romeo Ciolfi: Whether it's my first script or current script,
when I prepare to write I spend weeks pacing, brainstorming, writing
20 or 30 pages of notes, ideas, creating characters and research if
need be - before I even write one single page of a script. I like to
outline my plot. I like to have a good sense as to where I am going.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Romeo Ciolfi: No, Home is not my first script and it took me
around three months to brainstorm ideas and write out a first draft.
My first drafts are always on paper - I find I can think better. Once
I reworked and typed out the first draft, I spent a few more months on
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
I write best between early afternoon and early evening, but it often
depends on what stage of the writing process I'm at. I spend a lot of
time gazing out the front window of my house. I can't write in coffee
shops or public places where I get easily distracted.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
Romeo Ciolfi: Screenwriting contests can get your foot in the
door and if you do well in one, it offers a writer a ray of hope
(albeit it a subjective one). It can give a writer that little bit of
push to keep at it, don't give up. That's what they've done for me.
FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the
FilmMakers.com / The Radmin Company Screenwriting Competition?
I do a lot of research on
screenwriting contests and have used moviebytes as a great resource to
find the best ones. I basically have four criteria to pick a contest
to enter: track record, reasonable fees, awards and the credentials of
those running the contest. Based on these criteria I felt satisfied
with the Filmmakers' contest.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Romeo Ciolfi: Ordinary People is one of my favorite films.
Alvin Sargent wrote the script. It's full of subtleties and nuances in
character that make the film an incrediably moving experience.
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
Romeo Ciolfi: Food. Health. Gardening. Acting. Making people
laugh. I believe a writer needs other passions in his/her life to help
fuel the writing.
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
I don't really have
a favorite writer, but to name a few good ones: Alvin Sargent
(Ordinary People, Dominick and Eugene); Steven Zaillian (Searching
for Bobby Fisher, Schindler's List); Frank Darabont (The Shawshank
Redemption); Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve).
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Romeo Ciolfi: Although he is not with us anymore, Alfred
Hitchcock. Hitchcock had such a unique style. I loved the way he moved
the camera and how the actions of a character spoke more volumes than
dialogue. He was at the top of his game is such films as Rebecca,
Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho and The Birds.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Romeo Ciolfi: Jeff Bridges. Hands down. He is one of the most
under-rated actors in American films and it's because he is so subtle
in what he does. Take a look at his work in Starman, The Fisher King,
American Heart, Fearless and The Door in the Floor. His facial
reactions, body language and the way he underplays a given emotion
defines his greatness.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Romeo Ciolfi: Don't get easily discouraged. Don't do it for the
money. And if you call yourself a writer, write and rewrite. Too many
people talk about writing, but don't do enough of it. Give your work
to other people and writers and whatever you learn on one script, pass
it on to the next.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Romeo Ciolfi: I've just finished two scripts. One is about a
brother and sister who grew up in a small town and must deal with the
ailing health of their father. It's a story about how an incident in
the past has informed and influenced this family in the present. It
has a feel to it like You Can Count On Me. The second script is in the
vain of The Sixth Sense and Hitchcock. It tells the story of how fear
(imagined or real) drives us and often times keeps us in our place. My
hope is to eventually shoot this script as it lends itself to an
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
Romeo Ciolfi: Still writing..