2006 FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards - Interview - Brian Hill

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Brian Hill
17th Place Winner
Brian Hill
of  Fountain Hills, AZ
Screenplay
HOW TO GROW YOUR LIFE
Romantic Comedy
Biography:

Brian Hill began his writing career while still in college, when he sold an article that became the cover story for a national sports magazine. He is also the co-author of four books, his most recent titles being THE MAKING OF A BESTSELLER, and the suspense novel OVER TIME, both released in 2005. He has written four screenplays, and has studied screenwriting at UCLA-Extension. Brianís paranormal Western script, FORT DEFIANCE, was a 2nd Place Winner of the 2005 Phoenix Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. He was Moderator of the Screenwriting Panel at the 2005 New Orleans Writers Conference and a workshop presenter at the 2005 Midwest Literary Festival. His other magazine article credits include the cover story in the March 2005 issue of The Writer. He earned a Masterís Degree from Arizona State University and lives near Phoenix, Arizona.

Interview

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

when I finished my first script and realized I couldnít wait to start working on the next one. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of screenwriting right from the beginning.


I know I've succeeded........ 

when something I have written has an emotional impact on the reader/audience (especially when it has the impact I was hoping for!).
 

My inspiration to write HOW TO GROW YOUR LIFE.......

came from the observation that falling in love can give us the courage to take risks and make difficult choices in order to ďgrowĒ as human beings and reach our full potential.

 

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FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Brian Hill: Itís a thrill to have the opportunity to entertain other people. Motion picture writing allows you the chance to entertain millions.

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

Brian Hill: Reading books on the subject of screenwriting, attending conferences and reading scripts. I tried to absorb as many points of view as possible on the subject of what makes a great script.

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

Brian Hill: This is my fourth script. From coming up with the basic concept, to completion involved about 6 months of work. Iíve developed a fairly rigorous process of outlining a story before I sit down and write the actual script. Iíve found, as most writers do, that the more time spent developing the characters, the easier the script writing process becomes.

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

Brian Hill:
The key is to make sure you write each and every day. Iíve reached the point where I canít imagine a day without the joy and frustration of writing in it.

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

Brian Hill:
They are important for several reasons. Contest results are good barometers of the progress you are making in developing your craft. And they are extremely important in terms of helping you make valuable contacts with agents and producers. This business is so much about networking. Writing well is only half the battle.

FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards?

Brian Hill: This contest has a very good reputation for professionalism and for helping the winners move their careers forward.

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

Brian Hill: I know that some screenwriting gurus recommend certain scripts as great learning tools, but Iíve learned something from every script Iíve read, so I try to read as many as I can, in all the different genres. One time I read the scripts ďFrom Dusk Till DawnĒ and ďSense and SensibilityĒ in one sitting. That was quite a strange afternoon.

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

Brian Hill: I enjoy spending as much time outdoors as possible. Gardening and landscaping are two of my passions. They make a nice contrast to the sedentary activity of sitting in front of a word processor. I also used to enjoy golfing until one day it dawned on me that I wasnít a very good player.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Brian Hill: William Goldman, and not just for the obvious reason of his great success in the film industry, but because of his versatility: he has written novels, popular non-fiction books, original scripts, adaptations and even stage plays. To succeed in all those different mediums takes incredible talent. He's inspired me in my efforts to write both books and screenplays.

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

Brian Hill:
Either Ron Howard, because I have heard he creates a positive working atmosphere for everyone involved in the project, or Clint Eastwood because I love Western movies--and have written a Western script--and Mr. Eastwood has done so much to keep that genre alive. And of course he's a brilliant director.

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

Brian Hill: My preference would be an actor who has nice things to say about my script. Beyond that basic and modest requirement, Iím eager to work with almost anyone.

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

Brian Hill: Writers starting out should only listen to about 33% of the advice they are given. Much of what you are told by ďexpertsĒ turns out to be wrong. The trick is figuring out which 33% to follow and which 67% to disregard.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Brian Hill: I am just finishing a script I have wanted to write for some time, about the bond of friendship between man and dog growing so strong that it gives them both unusual powers. Itís based on the true story of my Irish Setter saving me from a potentially deadly rattlesnake biteóby taking the bite herself.

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

Brian Hill: I hope Iím looking back on the last five years with a great sense of accomplishment, and with perhaps a slightly larger bank account.

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