American Gem 2006 Short Screenplay Competition - PARCHED
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Michael Ugulini

First Place Winner

Michael Ugulini
of Toronto, ON

Michael lives in Toronto, Ontario with his lovely wife Catherine. He works in the food industry by day and write at night and on the week-ends. He has a love of reading and writing. He has dabbled in various forms of writing but loves writing scripts the best. He has a love of the art and craft of filmmaking and drama for the theatre. This past year he has focused on short screenplays, a feature screenplay, and a one- act play (which he is currently writing). He is also a jazz aficionado.


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

after studying the films of Ingmar Bergman and the Coen Brothers.

I know I've succeeded....

when Iíve finished a project Iíve set out to do and received positive feedback on my work.

My inspiration to write PARCHED.......

was a desire to write a story about man in an unadorned natural setting facing the elements and his fears.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Michael Ugulini: The power of words and the power of visual storytelling.

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

Michael Ugulini: I self-studied screenwriting texts and studied films which moved me and had meaning to me.

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

Michael Ugulini: PARCHED is my third script and it took me about a month to complete. I am on my sixth script right now.

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

Michael Ugulini I write around 10 oíclock at night for an hour and a half during the work week. Week-ends I write at any time. I have a small home office, and think through things with note-writing by hand firstÖthen I hit the keyboard.   

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

Michael Ugulini: I believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters because they provide valuable feedback on your work and allow you to see your work stacked up against other types of work.

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

Michael Ugulini: I entered the American Gem Short Screenplay Competition because I felt it was the type of competition that would show respect for aspiring screenwriters and their work. 

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

Michael Ugulini: I would urge aspiring screenwriters to read JULIA by Alvin Sargent for its economy of dialogue and fluid scene transitions.

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

Michael Ugulini: I am passionate about my wife who is supportive and patient with me in all things.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Michael Ugulini: Rod Serling all because of his script WALKING DISTANCE.

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

Michael Ugulini: The Coen Brothers because of their unique, original and skewered vision.

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

Michael Ugulini: I would love to work with Robert DeNiro because he brings passion to his roles.

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

Michael Ugulini: Iíve learned that you have to stop second guessing your ideas and see them through to completion or else you will never have any completed scripts to show anyone.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Michael Ugulini: Iím now working on a one-act drama entitled SUNNY DAYS IN OAKLAND.

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

I hope I am watching a produced script of mine onscreen or onstage here in Toronto.

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