I knew I
wanted to be a screenwriter.......
when I saw
I know I've
in opening the
door a little bit by making the finals of the American Gem.
came from two
fights I saw as a boy: Larry Holmes-Marvis Frazier, where Holmes
begged the ref to stop the fight so he wouldn’t hurt Frazier worse,
and Billy Collins-Luis Resto, where Resto’s trainer removed the
padding from his gloves and ended Collins’ career.
What inspired you to write?
Jay Deas: Having a brother who is a professional newspaper/magazine writer. His
success combined with my need to get all the stories, ideas and
concepts out of my head and down on paper keep me going.
FilmMakers Magazine: How did you prepare yourself to
write your first script?
Jay Deas: I worked with my college creative writing teacher, read several
screenplays and Chris Keane’s book, “How to write a selling
Is this your first script and how long did it take you to write
Killer Instinct is not my first script. My first one took nine months to
write. Killer Instinct took six weeks.
Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
Jay Deas: I don’t have a set routine to write. I travel a
lot so I write on planes and in hotels mostly. Killer Instinct was
written in Denmark.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests
are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?
Screenplay contests are absolutely vital, especially for those of
us living outside of California. In my case, WAY outside California.
It levels the playing field. To a large degree it’s my best shot at
joining the party.
FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the
American Gem Short Script Competition?
I entered the American Gem because it is for short screenplays,
which I enjoy writing more than feature-length scripts.
What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
I would urge aspiring writers to read five screenplays from movies
that most resemble what they want to write.
Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
I am most passionate about boxing. I train, manage and promote a dozen
fighters and I own a boxing gym.
Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?
Anthony Minghella. He says so much with so few words. Very sparse
Name the director you would love to work with and why?
I would love to work with director Frank Darabont. Also, I would love
to work again with Lexi Alexander. We got an Academy Award nomination
for Best Short Film when we worked together before. Maybe we could win
it all next time!
Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Jay Deas: I would love to work with actor David Proval. I wrote a short that made
the special mention seven in the Am. Gem and I wrote it with him in
mind. I’ve never written with a particular actor in mind before. Also
Keith David and Sam Rockwell.
Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
The best tip I could
give is to write what you’d want to see, regardless of trends. Write
because it’s fun and if anything comes of it, it’s a bonus.
What's next for you?
Jay Deas: Next for me is
to see how I do in the finals and hope to break in. Also to keep
working and progressing as a writer.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from
Jay Deas: I plan to be
training the heavyweight champion of the world, my Olympic boxer
Deontay Wilder and have at least one screenplay sold!