2008 FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards - Interview - John Horan


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Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards

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John Horan
CATEGORY 3 - (Comedy)
Platinum Prize Winner
John Horan
of Lincoln, NE

John Louis Horan is a practicing attorney by day and an aspiring screenwriter by night. A native of Nebraska City, Nebraska, Horan received a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Nebraska in 1991, and his Juris doctorate from Creighton University in 1994. He has practiced commercial law for more than a decade, but aspires to some day break through as a screenwriter. Horan has completed work on an offbeat comedy entitled "Rabbit Trails" and is now working on an adaptation of "Headwaters," a quirky, murder-mystery novel penned by Horan in 2006.

Horan currently resides in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife, Tina, and their two teenage children, Jordan and Jessica. Aside from writing, his outside interests include jogging, performing sketch comedy, and Nebraska football.


I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........

the first time I laid eyes on the screenplay format.


I know I've succeeded........ 

in other areas of life, but am committed to do what it takes to succeed as a screenwriter.


My inspiration to write RABBIT TAILS.......

was drawn from a strange, organic mix of real-life and imagined experiences.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

John Horan: I wanted to create a funny morality play based on the struggles of the average American male facing middle age.

FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?

John Horan: I studied other screenplays, read Lew Hunterís classic screenwriting guide, and sought out and met with Hunter himself.

FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?

John Horan: Yes, and the bulk of the writing was done on evenings and weekends over a several-month period.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?

John Horan:
When I am in full-on writing mode, absolutely.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?

John Horan: Yes, as a much-needed potential gateway to the otherwise seemingly closed world of professional screenwriting.

FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards?

John Horan: The opportunity to get my work in front of industry professionals.

FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?

John Horan: "Adaptation," by Charlie Kaufman, because it is remarkably original and unique.

FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?

John Horan: My spiritual life, because it gives me the depth I need as a writer and as a person.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

John Horan: Charlie Kaufman, because of his ability to think and write "outside the box."

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?

John Horan: Alexander Payne, because he is a Nebraska native and an amazing talent.

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?

John Horan: Matt Damon, because he has the range and charisma to effectively perform both comedy and drama.

FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?

John Horan: Find a good mentor. (Thank you, Lew Hunter!)

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

John Horan: An adaptation of a novel I completed in 2006, a quirky, murder-mystery entitled "Headwaters."

FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?

John Horan: Sitting in front of a laptop, banging out another screenplay.

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