2008 FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards - Interview - Linda Delmont


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Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards

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Linda Delmont
CATEGORY 2 - (Drama)

Runner Up

Linda Delmont
of Westminster, CA

A fifth generation California girl, Linda Delmont went to high school in Huntington Beach and got a bachelor's degree and a husband from Cal State Long Beach. While raising two kids, she worked part-time as an elementary school teacher. Currently she works as a tutor and spends most of her free time reading, taking care of her many pets or dabbling in creative writing. This fall she Rip Van Winkled her way back to Cal State Long Beach into a Master's Program in English. As an undergraduate she used to stare at the one or two "old" people in her classes and think, what are they doing here? Now she is that old person, wondering where the twenty plus years went since she last sat in a classroom there.


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

when I realized screenplays are mostly dialogue. I am a shameless eavesdropper. Everywhere I go I listen to people talking and mentally record great lines that I know I have to use somewhere in my writing. At least twenty lines from my screenplay came from conversations I overheard.


I know I've succeeded........ 

when I don't have to teach in order to pay the bills, when I can actually make enough income off of writing to be able to list my occupation as a writer.


My inspiration to write YESTERDAY'S CHILD.......

came from a novel I started years ago after a miscarriage. I remember people judging the intensity of my grief based on how far along in the pregnancy I was, the consensus being that a miscarriage at eight weeks was far easier to handle than it would be at four months after I had more time to bond with the child. So I went to the peak of that scale and wrote about what it would be like to lose a baby after it had already been born. Though I had long ago shelved the project, my father died a month before my screenwriting class began and I decided to rewrite the novel as a screenplay, just for my own catharsis.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Linda Delmont: Reading. I love to read and writing just came about as a natural by-product. I have also kept a journal since I was twelve years old. It's a great way to go back and recall details from the past.

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

Linda Delmont:
I took a screenwriting class at the local community college. The teacher was awful. He'd put in a movie, we'd watch it, and he'd talk about his favorite parts, but we never read a script. I did read the textbook though and learned all I needed to know from that.

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

Linda Delmont:
Yes, it is my first script. It took about six months to complete. I started it in the screenwriting class and finished it during winter break.

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

Linda Delmont:
No, I should, but I don't. I work part-time and I go to school part-time so most of my writing lately has been papers for my graduate classes, not creative writing. I am taking poetry writing next semester just because I need a class to prod me to write. I'm thinking about taking another screenwriting
class as well, with a different teacher.

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

Linda Delmont:
Yes, absolutely. I had a script but I had no idea what to do with it. I typed screenplay into Google and came up with your contest, which was to me, a great place to start.

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

Linda Delmont:

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

Linda Delmont:
"Casablanca." I love the subtle wit and the brevity of the conversation. A few words say a lot.

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

Linda Delmont:
I am passionate about animals. I admire the way they live in the moment and are so non-judgmental. Besides being a vegetarian and supporting a couple of animal groups, I have several animals of my own: two cats, two dogs, six chickens two rabbits, plus numerous visiting opossums. I just had an essay I wrote about the opossums published in a newspaper.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Linda Delmont:
Nora Ephron. "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle" are two of my favorite movies. She does a good job with romance where it's funny, realistic and not too sappy.

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

Linda Delmont:
Stephen Daldry. He really knows how to evoke emotion from his viewers. Plus I love British accents. My favorite TV channel is BBC.

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

Linda Delmont:
Johnny Depp. I've seen every movie he has ever been in, ever since I fell in love with him in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" He is so versatile, acting everything from a murderous barber to the owner of a chocolate factory. Some actors just seem to play the same role over and over again, but not him. He's always new.

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

Linda Delmont:
It's probably good to start with an outline. My tendency when I write is to just plow forward with no sense of direction, which leaves me with a lot of cutting and pasting, deleting, and re-writing.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Linda Delmont:
To complete my Master's in English. I still have another 23 units and a 50-page thesis to go.

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

Linda Delmont:
Yikes, I don't know. Everyone thinks my intention in getting a Master's is to be able to teach English at the community college level. But I have a secondary teaching credential in English and teaching high school drove me nuts. I only did it for one semester because I couldn't stand reading and grading the essays of sixteen-year olds who didn't take the time to spell Hemingway right. So teaching college I view purely as a fall back job if I'm not able to start making more money writing.

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