American Gem 2006 Short Screenplay Competition - THE WOODMAKER'S DOLLS
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David Leon Todman

Runner Up

David Leon Todman
of U.S. Army

David Leon Todman was born in 1979, on the U.S. Virgin Island of St.Thomas, located in the Caribbean. He attended grade school and his early years of high school in St. Thomas. He later moved to the United States at the age of 16, where he completed high school and then furthered his knowledge by attending The Colorado Institute of Art. Shortly after completing his degree in Arts, he relocated to Los Angeles, California where he used his experience to attain employment within the state. He had the opportunity to work along side with some great professionals that had the same desire that he had.

In 2002, he decided to change direction in his life and enlisted into the U.S. Army. After completing training at Fort Sill Oklahoma, he arrived at his first duty station located In Babenhausen, Germany. Shortly after his arrival, he was deployed to take part in Operation Iraq Freedom, where he completed his tour of one year. He is currently serving his second tour in South Korea where he has been for about 3 months. He is married with no kids and serves with the rank of Staff Sergeant in the military.


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

At a young age, when I realized the skills and crafts that goes into the process of movie production.

I know I've succeeded.......  

when I can look into the mirror and tell myself that all the work and dedication has paid off.

My inspiration to write THE WOODMAKER'S DOLLS.......

came from my emptiness that I felt while being deployed to Iraq during the invasion.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

David Leon Todman: My inspiration to write came from the feeling that writers are given, by having the ability to tell and show there feelings through pictures and graphics for others to see.

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

David Leon Todman: Before I began to write my first script, I spent a long period of time doing research, not only for the scenes in the scripts, but also reading the work of others who have paved the way for future writers.

FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to write THE WOODMAKER'S DOLLS?

David Leon Todman: This is my first script that I have fully completed. I completed this script a long time ago over a period of a few months, due largely to the fact that I was deployed to Iraq during this time. It was my project that I used to keep me occupied.

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

David Leon Todman: I highly believe in screenplay competitions. It gives everyday writers the opportunity to have their material read by industry professionals and the possibility of having their work noticed.

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

David Leon Todman: Yes, competitions are extremely important. You get to take your first real foray into the filmmaking community. My journey with American Gem has done so much for helping me realize my own dream. I feel like I can make it, writing for a living.

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

David Leon Todman: I felt like the American Gem Short Screenplay Competition, gave me the best opportunity that I was looking for. I have followed this competition for a while and have been satisfied with the results.

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

David Leon Todman: The script that benefited me the most was Blue Velvet by David Lynch. I could actually choose a couple scripts that he has written, but this script stands out to me. I feel that this movie gave the audience a different look into story telling and left me with a better appreciation of his thoughts.

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

David Leon Todman: I enjoy my job in the U.S. Army. It has given me a different outlook on life and has shown me the importance of values, that some people have taken for granted.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

David Leon Todman My favorite screenwriter would be David Lynch, for the same reasons I gave as why he would be my favorite director.

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

David Leon Todman: The director that I would love to work with would definitely be David Lynch. He has inspired me over the years with his constant work and skills that he brings to every story he touches. I have followed his work and life over the years and feel that his thoughts are very unique and different than others. The way he tells his story gives you the feeling that he has devoted everything he got into making sure that the people can appreciate his knowledge.

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

David Leon Todman: The actor that I would love to work with would have to be Terrance Howard. I feel that he has shown the audience a different side of acting, which blends greatly no matter what role he plays.

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

David Leon Todman: My advice that I would like to pass on to others would be to keep your head on straight and follow your dreams. If you donít succeed at some thing the first time take a step back analyze the situation and try again.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

David Leon Todman: My next adventure would be to create a story on my experience that I have had over the past years. I want people to know about life in the U.S. Army, from my experience and travels that I have encountered over the years.

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

David Leon Todman: I have plans that would help me attain my goals later in the future. I will continue to grow my craft as a story teller and try my hand in directing some of my stories.

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