I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
It was the summer of my sophomore year in
college and I had just made the decision not to be a print journalism major.
My problem was I did not know what to major in all I knew was that I wanted to
write. While sitting on the couch reciting line for line the last five minutes
of the movie The Devilís Advocate it hit me. ďSomeone has to write moviesĒ I
said. From that point on I focused on the art of screenwriting.
I know I've succeeded........
I know Iíve succeeded in writing an honest
script that deals with complex characters in a world that is for the most part
foreign to mainstream America.
My inspiration to write THE TALENTED.......
My inspiration to write The Talented came from
my experiences living in the hip-hop culture of Washington DC coupled with the
deep desire to be critical of that culture.
What inspired you to write?
Marcus Richardson: The love of good story telling was my first
inspiration to write. My earliest childhood memories involved my
mother reading novels by my bedside and my father taking me to the
movies. Each story I read or watched brought me closer to the idea
that I too could tell a story like the ones I read and watched with my
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
Marcus Richardson: Writing my first feature length script
involved a week of intense planning. While in New York City at a
Comedy Central writing program I had the opportunity to give a script
to a movie producer. For a whole week my mind could think of nothing
but scene after scene of a comedy / drama about a depressed investment
banker. By the end of the week I had the entire movie in my head, all
that was left was to write it. I traveled back to Washington D.C. on
the weekend to use my trustworthy demo version of Final Draft. I
finished the script that Friday, reviewed it on Saturday, printed it
on Sunday and went back to New York in time for work on Monday. Sadly
the movie producer did not want to buy the script however he did read
it and said it was entertaining and a good effort for a young writer.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Marcus Richardson: The Talented is my second feature length
script. This script took me approximately a month from start to finish
but is being revised until this very day. The Talented came to me as I
sat down to write. I did not plan it out from beginning to end as I
did my first and third script. I knew I had to write a second feature
and I had a story to tell. All that was left was to sit down and write
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
I write whenever I feel inspired to write however when the inspiration
is not there I still review my work in order to get a better
understanding of my story. I write and review my work while listening
to music. Music creates a mood which is very important in
screenwriting. When I have a screenplay to complete I am constantly
writing my script whether itís in front of my computer or mentally
constructing a scene during work or class.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
Marcus Richardson: Screenplay contests are important for
aspiring screenwriters because it gives a writer confidence to know
that their script has been read and enjoyed by someone who takes the
art of cinema and screenplays seriously.
What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers International
Marcus Richardson: While searching the internet for
screenwriting competitions I came across the Filmmakers International
Screenwriting Awards and was immediately impressed with the number of
applicants in the previous years of competition. The opportunity to
have your script read by an agent was very enticing as well as the
general information and resources that are available on the website.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Marcus Richardson: Both action and dialogue are essential for a
good movie therefore I would urge all screenwriters to read The Piano
by Jane Campion and Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino. The Piano has
some of the best action writing Iíve read and Pulp Fiction has some of
the best dialogue ever.
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
Marcus Richardson: Literature and English. As an English minor
in college I love to read classic and modern novels and I also love to
discuss topics in linguistics. Language and the way it can be
manipulated are very interesting and important in literature and all
forms of media.
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
Marcus Richardson: I am a fan of many screenwriters however
since I have to choose one as a favorite it would have to be Michael
Mann. Although I do have other influences in my screenwriting, Michael
Mannís characters, especially those in the movies Heat and The
Insider, are some of the most dynamic and well-rounded characters Iíve
seen on screen. Furthermore the dialogue in these two movies, the
conversations and the rants, are impeccable.
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
The director I would most like to
work with is Michael Mann. Once again there are many directors I would
love to work with however I feel that Michael Mannís movies are
extremely mature and well done. He is artistic yet not overbearing
with his artistic vision and does a great job of establishing a mood
in his movies.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Marcus Richardson: If I had a chance to work with any actor or
actress I would have to choose an upcoming actress named Serena Reeder
who has displayed remarkable acting ability. Many of my movies have a
strong female lead and she played a very strong character in Get Rich
or Die Trying which was directed by Jim Sheridan.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
The most important tip I have learned
that I can pass on to others to is watch as many movies as possible
because it is the best education you can get.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Marcus Richardson: My next plan is to graduate college and
either attend graduate school in Los Angeles or New York, enter a
screenwriters program in Los Angeles or take a chance and make The
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
Marcus Richardson: Five years from now I will be directing my
first or second movie which will have an adequate budget and will not
require me spending any of my personal funds to complete.