I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
when I realized that I was entirely
too self conscious to be an actor.
I know I've succeeded........
I can see my work on the screen.
My inspiration to write ACES AND EIGHTS.......
was to see if I could successfully
meld two of my favorite kinds of films: romantic comedies and action movies.
What inspired you to write?
Alex Williams: As corny as it sounds, I think it comes from
being an avid reader as a child. Iíve always loved storytelling and
since I was young Iíve wanted to be a storyteller myself.
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
Alex Williams: I took some filmmaking courses at a local
community college, where I wrote short scripts and worked as a crew
member on several student productions. Iíve also read a mountain of
film criticism and history over the years, which gave me some insight
into what makes a good film.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Alex Williams: This is my first feature script after writing
several TV pilots. Please do not embarrass me by forcing me to tell
you how long Iíve been working on Aces and Eights. (Remember that
famous story about Sylvester Stallone writing Rocky in three days? I
donít believe that for one second.)
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
Absolutely. What better way to learn about disappointment? Just
kidding. Actually, it was script notes I got from a previous contest
that lead me to do a major re-write on Aces and Eights. Without that
helpful critique, I doubt seriously that it would be a finalist in
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
Alex Williams: Absolutely. What better way to learn about
disappointment? Just kidding. Actually, it was script notes I got from
a previous contest that lead me to do a major re-write on Aces and
Eights. Without that helpful critique, I doubt seriously that it would
be a finalist in this competition.
FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the
FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards?
Alex Williams: It seemed like a good idea to enter a contest
sponsored by a well respected industry publication. Frankly, I donít
think entering the Pillsbury Bake off was going to do me much good.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Alex Williams: (1) Chinatown, because itís so beautifully
structured (2) His Girl Friday, because the supporting characters are
as entertaining as the leads (3) Memento, because itís a stunt that
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
Alex Williams: Politics, because itís fascinating and vitally
important, and the NFL, because itís fascinating and completely
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
Alex Williams: Just one? Are you kidding? Ben Hecht, for
writing so well in so many different genres; the Coen brothers, ditto;
Alexander Payne, for the warmth he feels towards his characters;
Preston Sturges, ditto; Woody Allen, forÖ well, just watch Love and
Death and Manhattan back to back. Aaron Sorkin, because I still enjoy
listening to smart people talk.
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Alex Williams: Ang Lee or Stephen Soderberg, because I think
they can do (and want to try) just about anything.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Alex Williams: George Clooney. A manís man who has sense of
humor about it is pretty rare. And as long as weíre on the subject,
the most underrated actor in the business is Greg Kinnear. And why did
Matthew Perry not become a popular leading man?
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Alex Williams: For once, a clichť is true: good scripts arenít
written, theyíre rewritten. Donít have too much reverence for your own
work; it can always get better.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Alex Williams: Lunch.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
Alex Williams: That much closer to parole.