2006 FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards - Interview - Jack Estes

Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards

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Jack Estes
First Place Winner
Jack Estes
of Lake Oswego, OR

Jack Estes is the author of the critically acclaimed Vietnam memoir, A Field of Innocence, published by Warner Books. His articles and essays have appeared in Newsweek, LA Times, Wall St. Journal and various other publications. He resides in Lake Oswego, Oregon with his wife Colleen.

A Soldier’s Son is his first screenplay. He is currently working on another script and finishing a novel.


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

when I saw Platoon.

I know I've succeeded........ 

when I sit in that movie theater and see my film.

My inspiration to write A SOLDIER'S SON.......

came from wife.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Jack Estes: I have always wanted to write and did so to keep from going crazy. The war was in my mind and writing helped ease the pain.

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

Jack Estes: I attended two screenplay writing classes taught by Cythania Whitcomb.

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

Jack Estes: This is my first script and it will not be completed until it is filmed.

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

Jack Estes:
I write everyday, usually after breakfast and before I turn in. When I'm on a roll I can write all day and it feels like I'm watching a movie.

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

Jack Estes: Screenplay contests are an excellent way to stay motivated and keep writing.

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

Jack Estes: I entered this contest because everything I read about the contest was good.

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

Jack Estes: There is not one script I would read but many. No matter how good a script, if you read it with the intent of discovering what works and what does not, you can learn from almost anything.

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

Jack Estes: I enjoy writing fiction and essays. I am passionate about the brave soldiers fighting in Iraq and all veterans. Because of this passion my wife and I have created a non-profit called The Fallen Warriors Foundation, to honor veterans with acts of kindness. We have been to Vietnam many times to bring doctors or supplies for hospitals.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Jack Estes:

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

Jack Estes:
I would like to work with Clint Eastwood because his films are rich with texture and impact people on a profound and positive level.

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

Jack Estes:

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

Jack Estes:
Write every day and forget about rejection, it means nothing, only acceptance does.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Jack Estes: I am going to finish my next script in a few weeks then work on my novel.

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

Jack Estes: Five years from now I will be pounding away, turning out words that leap off the page and hopefully find an audience.

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