|I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
the moment I saw an American movie in a cheap
second-run theater in Hong Kong many years ago. At the time, I didn’t really
know anything about how movies were made, but I was deeply moved by films, and
have always wanted to be involved in their creation in some way or another.
I know I've succeeded........
I know I've succeeded – to be honest,
I’m not sure. My goal is simply to tell my story and to relate the events of
the Cultural Revolution as seen through my eyes and truthfully and faithfully
as possible, so that others may learn from my experience.
My inspiration to write
My inspiration to write The Escape is
to desire to tell my story to the world, which I believe is a story that sheds
light on aspects of the Cultural Revolution that have never been seen before.
What inspired you to write?
I believe “The Escape”, if made into
a movie, will tell a story set in the midst of a great human tragedy
that has never been seen before. I hope the story will inspire people
to pursue their goals, no matter how difficult they are. At a time
when China is rapidly becoming a world power, I hope my story will
remind the Chinese baby boomers about who they are and what they have
been through, so they will play a positive role for the world.
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
It was a difficult emotional journey
for me to go back to such a difficult time in my life, but I felt that
my story needed to be told. It was a challenge to recall, assemble,
and condense the extraordinary amount of detail and events before
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Kent Wong: This
is my first script, and it took 9 months from conception to the second
draft that was sent to Filmmakers INTL Screenplay Awards. Since
submission in the summer of 2008, the rewriting process has been
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
I don’t have a routine, since my other business (in real estate) has
been facing a tremendous downturn since I started writing. I
compensate for this by writing during what free time I can find, and
by going over the story in my mind constantly, whether it’s behind the
wheel, before I fall asleep, or whenever.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
I am a believer that a well-run competition will offer newcomers who
have no representation an opportunity to have their work critically
examined and compared with others. Writing a good script is an
extremely difficult process, and competitions provide a valuable
FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the
FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards?
I searched the internet for competitions to enter and came across the
Filmmakers INTL Screenwriting Awards. I liked what I saw based on the
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Any Oscar-winning or nominated screenplays. If a screenplay won an
Oscar, it should have at least something in it that can be learned
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
Architecture design and photography - both are challenging and
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
Robert Bolt. When I was in Hong Kong, I would watch Hollywood movies
subtitled in a cheap, dingy second-run theater. Dr. Zhivago was one of
my favorite movies. The scale and scope of the story has always
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Clint Eastwood. He has always struck me as a very down-to-earth,
direct, no-nonsense director who isn’t afraid to make bold movies.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
because I admire the dedication he gives to his characters.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Keep rewriting. Personally, I’ve learned a lot like “Making A
Good Script Great” by Linda Seger, “The Art of Dramatic
Writing” by Lajos Egri, “The Screenwriter’s Bible” (for
formatting) by David Trottier, and for a non-three act
structure approach, John Truby’s works.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Finishing the 4th draft of “The Escape”, and continuing the
first drafts of two other screenplays.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
Hopefully, somewhere relating to the movie business.