American Gem 2003 Short Screenplay Competition - KLEPTO
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Jennifer D. Bandrup


Jennifer D. Bandrup
El Cajon, CA
Biography:  I was born almost thirty-one years ago in sunny San Diego California. I have since come to despise the sun, well, not the sun itself. More the harmful rays due to lack of protective ozone layer.....but I digress. I grew up in suburbia and had a somewhat normal childhood. I was an only child and always felt I didn't fit in, especially with kids my age. I had few friends, most I put up with due to boredom. I "fell in love" at the age of thirteen, was pregnant at fourteen, and had my daughter at fifteen. I spent the next ten-plus years trying to figure out what to do with my life. I have always created. From the age of five I wanted to be a photographer. Everyone I know would always ask for my opinion on aesthetics and would say that I was creative, although at the time there was really nothing to back that up.

In my mid twenties I discovered Photoshop. I wanted to have a career using it, but I had no idea what. I finally figured out that graphic designers use that application, so at twenty-seven I decided to go back to school. Since I had dropped out of High School in the ninth grade, I found myself taking the general education diploma test with a bunch of kids a decade younger than myself. I found a degree program in graphic and multimedia design at Platt College in San Diego. I have been there for the last few years. I will receive my BS in the fall of 2003. I have been amazed at what I can accomplish if I only try. I am a terminal procrastinator, so I have to force myself to get out of bed, none the less do anything else. I am not perfect, nor do I have any desire to be. My daughter calls me a freak. I like that.


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

I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter when I watched people read my script and care about the characters.

I know I've succeeded....

I know I've succeeded when I am able to read my own work over and over, and still like it.

My inspiration to write KLEPTO.......

was the need to write something I haven't seen before. Not that we all haven't seen the "girl falls for guy" theme a million times, but I wanted to give it a twist. I didn't want the characters to be two dimensional. I wanted to give them depth and make them quirky.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Jennifer D. Bandrup: At the time, I was in a screenwriting class, and I had to write to pass the class. When I first heard I had to write a script I thought there was no possible way I could do it.

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup: I fist learned proper formatting of a script, character development and plot development. From there I decided what I was going to write about, then did tons of research on the internet regarding kleptomania.

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup: This is the first script I have written. It took me about two weeks to prepare to write it. When I actually sat down to write, it probably took about fifteen hours, not including the numerous re-writes after the first draft.

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup: I know that screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters. Not every script is made, or even read by anyone other than the person who wrote it. Just getting it read by anyone in the industry that has any clout is like winning the lottery. In a contest, you enter, someone will definitely read it, and hopefully you get the recognition your ego is dying for.

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup: My instructor, Mike Goedecke, almost forced me to enter. I didn't think I would even place in the top 50. My pessimism, and procrastination, was squashed when my school offered to pay for the competition's entry fee.

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup: I have a passion for graphic design. I crave new design magazines more than chocolate. I also love photography, film, and music. Basically anything artistic. Art is life, I would die without it.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Jennifer D. Bandrup: Hmm. I don't have a favorite screenwriter. I just watched Adaptation four times this past weekend, so I'm really into Charlie Kaufman at the moment..

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup: I would love to work with Quentin Tarantino or Woody Allen. They are both so unique and have both done ground breaking things in film that have affected not only the film industry, but society in general.

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup:
This is going to sound so typical, but I would love to work with Brad Pitt. He is such a talented actor. He doesn't just spit his lines out. Every character he plays isn't the same person, with a different name, in a new situation.

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup: Learn proper story telling! Know what is supposed to happen in Act I, Act II, and Act III. Once you know what is supposed to happen you can start to break the rules. Also, write what you want. Don't worry about offending the masses. If it speaks to you, write it down. Someone, somewhere, will love it. No matter what it's about.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Jennifer D. Bandrup: I am currently still in school. I have recently done a freelance job creating a logo for a clothing store. I have just finished a short story that I am thinking about adapting into a screenplay, just to see if I can do it. I am currently looking for full time work....anyone, anyone?

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

Jennifer D. Bandrup:
I honestly have no idea. I would like to say that I am a successful art director at a web design firm, or creative director of my own company. Life up to this point has been such an adventure I don't dare think where it will take me in five years. If I end up winning an Oscar or any other award, I definitely will be more shocked than anyone.

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