I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
when my short story was accepted into the Salt
Lake Film Society Screenwriting Program. The program came at the perfect time;
I’d been contemplating the idea of turning the short story into a screenplay
but didn’t really know how to get started. Through the course of the year long
program, participants were provided with screenwriting fundamentals.
Additionally, we interacted with industry professionals during discussions on
adaptation of previously written material, screenplay formats and differences
between independent and studio film production. Finally, and perhaps most
importantly, we were taught the art of pitching our story.
I know I've succeeded........
at least on some level, in developing
characters. During the screenwriting process, I would awake in the middle of
the night saying out loud, “No, no, she would never say this, instead she
would say…”. While I was excited by these revelations, my husband suspected I
was suffering from some degree of Multiple Personality Disorder.
My inspiration to write SIDEPASS.......
began as a single incident over three years
ago. An accident involving my old salty horse named Red, a rope and my finger
propelled me to learn the psychology of horses. What began as a study of horse
behavior ultimately concluded with a personal journey of dealing with my
demons. Moved by my experience, I felt compelled to write a story involving
unique characters who not only learn to cope with their own predicament, but
also grow to appreciate each other, all as a result of their individual
relationship with an intuitive horse.
What inspired you to write?
Wendy Allen Davies: Inspiration to write SIDEPASS happened
throughout the process, starting with an illuminating horse/human
relationship, followed by a chance encounter with an extremely warm
and spiritual Native American gentleman who became instrumental in
assisting me develop one of my characters. Cheers and support by
fellow screenwriters, along with helpful critiques, also had a
tremendous impact on my inspiration to write.
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
Wendy Allen Davies: My favorite preparation tool is research. I
enjoy the process of researching locations, industries, specific job
positions, basically any topic I plan to incorporate in writing. I
also keep a copy of David Trottier’s “The Screenwriter’s Bible” close
at hand. I refer to it frequently while writing.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Wendy Allen Davies: SIDEPASS is the first script I’ve written,
taking a full year to complete.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
Wendy Allen Davies:
At this point I do not have a set routine; however, I found dividing
the task of writing into phases helpful. For example, I prepared an
outline by Act before writing the actual screenplay. Also, deadlines
were established for us through the Salt Lake Film Society program.
Since I tend to work well with deadlines, I can prioritize my time in
order to accomplish the necessary work.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
Wendy Allen Davies: Yes, screenplay contests are a wonderful
way to have your screenplay read, sometimes critiqued and hopefully
get noticed by an agent or producer.
What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers International
Wendy Allen Davies: I entered the Filmmakers International
Screenwriting Awards for two reasons. First, I finished in time for
the contest deadline and secondly, I was looking to enter larger
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Wendy Allen Davies: I would urge aspiring writers to read Sixth
Sense by M. Night Shyamalan. He took an interesting subject and
created a moving story.
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you
passionate about and why?
Wendy Allen Davies: I am passionate about my family. I spend a
lot of time with our two young children and love just about every
minute of it.
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
Wendy Allen Davies: My favorite screenwriter is Michael Arndt.
After watching LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, I was quite impressed with his
ability to create conflict in virtually every scene, while making me
laugh until my stomach hurt throughout the entire movie.
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Wendy Allen Davies:
I would like to meet Steven
Spielberg. His talent to brilliantly direct movies across different
genres amazes me.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Wendy Allen Davies: My most favorite actress in the entire
world is Meryl Streep. Not only is she a gifted actress, but she’s
also intelligent, dedicated to her husband and four children and
maintains a low profile.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Wendy Allen Davies: Join a serious writing group. There’s
nothing more helpful than troubleshooting areas where you’re stuck
with other writers who truly understand where you’re coming from.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Wendy Allen Davies: I have ideas for three more screenplays;
perhaps I’ll write those too.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
Wendy Allen Davies:
In five years, I’ll be wherever I’m
supposed to be.