American Gem 2008 Short Screenplay Competition Winners - MISSING LINK
  American Gem Short Screenplay Competition
2008 WINNERS  

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Ricardo Mancebo   Ricardo Mancebo
of Fremont, CA


Oliver Mancebo
of Fremont, CA

  Ricardo Mancebo and Oliver Mancebo and Oliver Mancebo

Ricardo Mancebo's background is in science, where he received his Ph.D. in Biology from Columbia University, and was a postdoctoral scientist at Yale University and Stanford University in the biological sciences. He currently works at a biotech company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

His previous writing credits include a dramatic feature that was previously optioned by a producer, and a book titled, “Tell Me, How Do You Win The Lottery?”. He finds that when science collides with his fictional writing, the net result is science friction, which motivates him to keep writing, and to channel new ideas into screenplays.


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

when I wrote my second feature-length screenplay in my head, while commuting back-and-forth to work.

I know I've succeeded.......  

when my wife started giving me her “thumbs-up” on the scripts I wrote.

My inspiration to write MISSING LINK.......

was a Mother’s Day present to my wife from me and my ten-year old son. During my trips to China over the years, I have seen a lot of changes. “Missing Link” is a testimony to the rising influence of China in the world, and how one’s identity is influenced by past heritage through genetics.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Ricardo Mancebo: I am inspired by the need to express ideas and feelings about observations in life, putting all the conflict and emotions on paper, with my own view of life.

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

Ricardo Mancebo: I bought screenwriting software, learned how to use it, and then started plugging away at the computer. The story was far from ideal, but I felt a real sense of accomplishment after finishing the first script … and then I leaned all about the re-writing process.

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

Ricardo Mancebo: “Missing Link” is the first short script I have written. Prior to this, I wrote two feature-length screenplays—a drama and a romantic comedy. I
have also recently written a short thriller screenplay and a short comedy/drama.

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

Ricardo Mancebo:  I try to write during the weekdays late at night, between the hours of 12 a.m. and 4 a.m., when everyone’s asleep, so that I don’t disrupt my time with my family. During this time, I let the clash of sleep, work, and
writing duke it out. Lately, writing has been winning out.

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

Ricardo Mancebo:  I do feel screenwriting contests are worthwhile, as these can be great motivators for completing a screenplay by a specific deadline. The
feedback and exposure is also key.

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

Ricardo Mancebo: I entered the American Gem Short Screenplay Competition because this is a respected contest that is perceived to be highly significant within the industry, providing invaluable opportunities for exposure, and resources
for feedback if desired.

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

Ricardo Mancebo: The Godfather, because of the cast of complex characters that resonates off the page, and the multi-layered storyline they live … or die … within.

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

Ricardo Mancebo: I‘m passionate about spending more time with my family, pursuing philanthropic endeavors one day, and finding more time to run.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Ricardo Mancebo: While I have no one specific favorite screenwriter, I really enjoy Mr. Francis Ford Coppola’s work. His ability to create characters with such
depth and insight provides a glimpse into the core their very beings, where each character is watchable in his or her own right.

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

Ricardo Mancebo: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
One director would be Mr. Ang Lee, because brings a unique sensitivity to
the screen with the stories he directs. He’d be very welcome to direct
“Missing Link.”

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

Ricardo Mancebo:
One actor is Jack Nicholson, because he can play anything, and seems to enjoy it.

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

Ricardo Mancebo: Be your biggest fan. Believe in your work. There’s a reason you’re writing your screenplay. Chances are, it’s the right reason.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Ricardo Mancebo:
I’ve been interested in writing a full-length suspense/thriller screenplay about psychic phenomena ­ remote viewing. Any interest out there?

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

Ricardo Mancebo:
My plan is to have my own biotech company, using technologies that will benefit human health. This will enable me to have the flexibility to spend more time with my family, which also means more time for running and writing … during reasonable hours. I would like to take my writing to the point where it becomes a career option. I just need to keep at it.




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