American Gem 2006 Short Screenplay Competition - VINCENT'S EAR
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Drew Miller

Runner Up

Drew Miller
of Los Altos, CA

Drew Miller has enjoyed a rich and extensive history in the theatre as director, playwright and lyricist, actor, musician, and set and props designer. Miller created props and special effects designs for numerous productions including Circle in the Square’s revival of Sweeney Todd, The Art of Success at the Manhattan Theatre Club and The Destiny of Me, Circle Rep. Triumphant set designs include those for Sean Lavery's premiere pas de deux of Romeo and Juliet, New York City Ballet and, in Baltimore, Maryland, A Salute to Heroes, honoring Howard Ashman, plus architectural and graphic design for Baltimore, Maryland’s revitalization project, the Royal Theatre Monument honoring musicians and performers who appeared at the historic venue.

A recent contributing writer and call-in personality to Western Connecticut’s number one wake-up radio program on I95 Rock, Drew would often draw upon his gift of characterization and offer up to the two hosts of the show a myriad of “listeners” as verbal sparring partners. Callers such as the cell phone guy, “Hans Freed” and the passive aggressive straight guy with the queer eye, “Jerry Fagala,” were only a small sampling of the inhabitants of Miller’s mind and latest project, a comedy CD entitled “ Holding My Own” in which he portrays all the characters. As a playwright/librettist, Miller, a BMI songwriter and an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engle librettist workshop in New York has produced works including Somewhere in the World, a light-hearted musical about Christopher Columbus. that had critics agreeing it was "...a breath of fresh air." A later production of two one-act dramas, Hostages and Innocent Victims, was touted as being "An emotional carousel" and "...wonderfully dark, searching." Moment of Truth, a two act black comedy about six sisters' introspection of their lives and the domineering mother who raised them, was lauded as “...a thought-provoking adult drama...sure to evoke comment.” As a screen writer, Miller’s Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a dark comedy about a casket maker and his frumpy wife, garnered an honorable mention in the HBO writers project while the short screen play Vincent’s Ear was a finalist in the recent Gimme a Break screenwriting contest.


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

I had always written bits and pieces of scripts, but it was for my own performance gigs. A musical I was directing needed a rewrite. It was then, as I collaborated with the original book writer, I knew I wanted to write. Writing for the screen seemed to be the next logical step.


I know I've succeeded.......  

when someone who has seen a production or film I have produced conveys to me that the story or character(s) made an impression upon that viewer.

My inspiration to write VINCENT'S EAR.......

was conceived almost 30 plus years ago as I observed “Vincent” from the department store display windows I decorated as a visual display designer in a former life. I often wondered from where he drew his inspiration – what kind of existence this “Grandpa Moses” had. Did his art have an effect or was it merely a fleeting splash of color that was a part of a broader palette?




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Drew Miller: Just look around you. There must be a myriad of stories that need the assistance of a screenwriter.

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

Drew Miller: Years and years of watching movies and television.

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

Drew Miller: This script is one of a series of scripts that I started a few years ago.

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

Drew Miller: You should see my collection of the script notes on napkins and the margins of magazine articles.

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

Drew Miller: Where else can we turn?

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

Drew Miller: The competition’s reputation.

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

Drew Miller: KING KONG – old and new, it has everything. And make sure to read the background on the original authors.

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

Drew Miller: Global communication.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Drew Miller Can you name anyone as prolific and dark as Rod Serling?

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

Drew Miller: When someone like Ron Howard can overcome the stigma of “child-star” and produce consistent works of art that embrace the medium, then that’s my former child-star director.

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

Drew Miller: I feel a great empathy with Craig Ferguson, a brilliant multi-faceted artist.

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

Drew Miller: Your work is never done.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Drew Miller: I’ve some notes on a napkin – it’s around here somewhere…

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

Drew Miller: …still looking for that napkin.

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