I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
Writing has developed into a series
of projects for me. Screenwriting, even though it was a later pursuit,
challenged me while being an enjoyable task.
I know I've succeeded........
others, including myself, feel good
about what has been written.
My inspiration to write CHIMPFUSION.......
was simply generated by a
conversation with a friend. The ideas for my scripts come from any and all
places. I have a tendency to ask myself, "Would this topic make an appealing
What inspired you to write?
Richard Sartore: My inspiration to write occurred after I
completed graduate school. I submitted an article to a scholarly
journal and to my amazement, it
was accepted. I ended up on the Editorial Board of that same journal
several years later. Initially, my focus was on articles and poems.
Later, I began writing books which led me to write screenplays.
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
Richard Sartore: My educational background was not in writing.
However, a friend introduced me to the screenwriting process. I read
books on developing screenplays. I watched and listened to seminars,
read professional scripts and received assistance from a produced
screenwriter friend. Before writing, I prepared my notes and
formulated my ideas.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Richard Sartore: No, I had already written approximately ten
scripts. Chimpfusion took me seven to eight months.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
From home, I spend at least eight hours each day on a particular
writing project. Given the fact that I have ALS and am paralyzed
from the neck down, I utilize a program called KeyStrokes. I use a
head mouse attached to my glasses and a superimposed keyboard on my
computer. However, it only allows me to type one letter at a time. The
writing process becomes long and tedious. Thus, the lengthy time is
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
Richard Sartore: Yes. Contests can be excellent sources of
exposure, networking and determining where you stand in the
FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the
FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards?
I entered the contest previously and was impressed by the
attentiveness to each submission.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Richard Sartore: There is no one particular script that I would
recommend. Each individual writer has their own interests. Therefore,
my suggestion is that they read scripts that excite and motivate them.
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
Since my mobility is limited, I've had to exclude certain areas of
interest. Currently, I enjoy music, movies, reading, politics and
discussions with a network of friends.
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
Sidney Lumet. I admire his work. He
has written countless
screenplays, most that I thoroughly enjoyed. By reading his credits,
it is easy to see that he is a committed and talented screenwriter.
Lumet encompasses the key qualities of a good screenwriter (e.g.
character building, plot, story development, etc.).
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Richard Sartore: The late Alfred Hitchcock. The stories he
helped develop had
suspenseful layers and ongoing twists.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Dustin Hoffman. He has an ability to convincingly transform into
different characters, depending on the story. For example, from
TOOTSIE to Willy Loman.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Richard Sartore: If you are writing for the money, change
careers. If you're writing because you love to write, you have a
chance to succeed as a screenwriter. One must be prepared to invest
time, thought and the ability to accept criticism and rejection.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Currently completing a short book entitled SOL'S LAST TAPE, based on
my unpublished screenplay of the same name. Also, I just started a new
animated screenplay entitled, BAD DOG.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
I expect to still be writing and improving my skills.