American Gem 2003 Short Screenplay Competition - RED LIGHT RUN

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Dominique J. Williams

Finalist

Dominique J. Williams
of
San Diego, CA
Screenplay
RED LIGHT RUN
Drama
Biography: Dominique Janelle Williams is 24 years old, born in Bakersfield, CA, a small city about an hour north of Los Angeles. She spent most her teenage years in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, located in south Orange County, CA. Currently, Dominique lives in San Diego, CA after moving there for school. She has a BA in Journalism and recently completed a certificate program for video production/editing. For the past 3 yrs she's been a sales person for a wireless phone company, and is now in the process of applying and interviewing for positions in the tv/film industry. Her hobbies include: photography, salsa dancing, watching movies and hanging out at the beach.

Interview

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

Honestly, I have never really actually thought about screenwriting until this contest. But, I had a lot of fun writing the script and getting feedback from several people about it. This screenwriting thing just may be something that I could really get into. It's kind of addicting. After finishing Red Light Run, all I could do was think of story ideas for the next one.

I know I've succeeded....

Other people (who's opinions I respect) have read it, I've revised and reprinted the script so many times that I almost know it word for word, and there are no more edit marks on any of the pages--then I know I've succeeded.

My inspiration to write RED LIGHT RUN.......

When trying to think of the subject matter of the script I just kept asking myself, "what would be a movie that I would want to watch?" I am a real movie nerd! I feel like I've seen just about everything, so I just wrote what I wish I could see on the screen.

 

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FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Dominique J. Williams: When I was a kid I loved writing short stories just to let other people read them and tell me what they thought. So, naturally over the years I gravitated towards a college major in journalism. Soon after getting my degree, I began to like the idea of telling stories with words and pictures together. So, about 6 mo after graduation, I enrolled at Platt College here in San Diego to learn more about video production. So, I've always had it in me to tell stories, its just a matter of which medium to do it in.

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

Dominique J. Williams: I wrote a character sketch on each of my main characters. Sort of like a short bio on each to help develop their physical look in my head as well as their personalities, and possible motivations for things that might happen in the script. Some of this information I didn't even use, but it really helped me to get a feel for my characters so their dialogue and actions were consistent with their personalities.

FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to write RED LIGHT RUN?

Dominique J. Williams: Red Light Run is my first script, and it took me about a month to finish.

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

Dominique J. Williams: I definitely feel that screenwriting contests are important for aspiring screenwriters not only for the exposure of your work, but because it's an opportunity to keep writers writing. I probably wouldn't have even entered my script into this contest if I hadn't been urged to do so. When I finally checked out the website and got a look at some of the prizes I thought, ok nothing to lose. Now, the fact that my script made it this far, has me feeling like scriptwriting can be rewarding monetarily, but more importantly by the sense of accomplishment when your all done.

FilmMakers Magazine:
What influenced you to enter the American Gem Short Script Competition?

Dominique J. Williams: Part of the video production program that I was enrolled in requires that you take a course in screenwriting. After completing Red Light Run for that class, my instructor approached me and suggested that I enter it into this contest, so I did.

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

Dominique J. Williams: I love all types of music from all over the world. I really enjoy dancing to salsa and meringue music because it's such a release for me.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Dominique J. Williams: This is a hard one, but I'd have to say Alan Ball is my favorite screenwriter. American Beauty is such a unique movie, and so many people can relate to it on many different levels. I think it is an awesome story with great characters.

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

Dominique J. Williams: The director I would love to work with has got to be, Steven Spielberg. What can I say, he just has the golden touch.

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

Dominique J. Williams:
The actor I would love to work with would be Denzel Washington. This needs no explanation, but he's got to be the most versatile and talented actor in the biz.

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

Dominique J. Williams: Try to find out what time of day you are most creative and in what environment, and take advantage of that particular time and place. I started to notice that I would get my best ideas when I first woke up and was still laying in bed. You know, that not quite fully alert state. So I keep a notebook next to my bed and jot down any ideas I'd want to expand upon later.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Dominique J. Williams: Hopefully, what's next for me is a career more geared towards my educational background of video production/editing in film or television. I also hope to complete more scripts and submit them to more contests like this one.

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

Dominique J. Williams:
Time will tell. Hopefully by that time my name will be rolling on some credits somewhere.

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