Annual American Gem
2016 CONTEST |
Brain Invaders from Planet X
American Gem Short Script Contest
10TH PLACE WINNER
Brain Invaders from Planet X
San Antonio, TX United States
Paul Mitchell is
a thirty six year old screenwriter living in San Antonio TX.
Originally from the East coast, he grew up in a small town
in central Pennsylvania. Paul studied theatre and acting at
Wilkes University under the guidance of Adam Hill and Joseph
Dawson. Just recently, he was a finalist at the Fantastic
Planet Film Festival in Sydney Australia with his script
Brain Invaders from Planet X, and placed third at the San
Antonio Film Experience with his short film ďThis Little
Heart of MineĒ
Paul is currently working as an acting coach for small
upstart production company, Smoking Hare Productions.
A man whose brain tumor causes him to believe he's a fifties
television character, shifts in and out of consciousness
while in the hospital, switching between conversations with
his family and battles in outer space.
Interview Part 1.
I knew I wanted to be screenwriter when
I when I found out that I couldnít be Indiana Jones. Ha
ha... I realized I wanted the escape, the adventure, not the
digging in the ground. I wanted to be able to create that
for myself and for others.
I know I've succeeded when Iím able to write
inspiration to write Brain Invaders from Planet X
stemmed from my father and his love of cheesy science
fiction films. Weíve actually become closer watching these
film. We always joke about it. ďHow can you watch this
stuff?Ē ďAt least itís on TV sonĒ ďThanks dadĒ
Interview Part 1.
inspired you to write?
At an early age,
I wanted to create a world different from my own. A place
where I could go and escape from my problems. I found that
escape at the movies. I could, for an hour or two, spend
time as an outcast looking for Pirateís treasure, or saving
Princesses from dark lords in galaxies, far, far away. Why
not create my own worlds and characters.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script
and how long did it take you to complete?
This is not my
first script. I usually write with a partner, however, this
is the first script Iíve written by myself. It took me five
months, off and on, to finish. I tend to work on other ideas
at the same time, to keep me spontaneous.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set
routine, place and time management for writing?
I usually write
late at night. I work on ideas throughout the day, and by
the time night comes around, they are pouring out. I walk
around with a small notebook, so when an idea pops up, Iím
quick to write them down.
Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are
important for aspiring screenwriters and why?
I do believe that
they are important, because I love the feedback from
someone, who is not family or a friend, someone that gives
an honest opinion, be it good or bad.
Magazine: What influenced you to enter the American Gem
Short Script Contest?
Honestly, I found
the festival when I was researching short screenplay
contests through the website Moviebytes. I then read the
raving reviews from past entrants. Everyone, had nothing but
the best to say about the competition.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you
urge aspiring writers to read and why?
I just got done
reading The Grand Budapest Hotel. As a reader, it was a very
visual read, I could take what was on the page, and
translate it easily in my mindís eye. Personally, I would
read as many scripts as possibly. Practice makes perfect.
See what worked for others and learn from that.
Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate
about and why?
I actually work
on short films with a bunch of friends. We are very
passionate about getting our work out there. Nothing beats
the feeling of accomplishment from having an audience
experience your film.
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite
Screenwriter and Why?
I donít really
have a favorite. I always looking for a great story. Iíll
read anything and everything, be it Film, TV, Anime, just
take me somewhere.
Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with
Iím really into
the works of Wes Anderson right now. His sense of style is
all his own, he knows what he wants from start to finish.
Plus, being a film maker myself, his use of the same actors
hits home with my group of friends. Itís very summer stock.
If I could catch
a live director, Kathryn Bigelow, Alison Anders or Jane
Campion would be top of my list. Why? Because they are all
brilliant, and it is ever so important for women in the film
industry to support each other and promote diverse voices in
Film is a
collaborative art, and it all begins with a good script.
Writers are seldom acknowledged, or rewarded, for their
contributions to the most influential cultural medium of the
20th and 21st century. That needs to change, and womenís
voices need to be heard loud and clear.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and
There are so many
great actors out there, itís hard to choose. Iím going to
have to go with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Now here me out, I
know he is known for his boots to face action flicks, but
recently, I just watched his JCVD film, where he
plays a stylized version of himself. There is a scene in the
film, where he breaks the fourth wall and addresses the
audience directly. He talks about his life and the mistakes
that he has made, really exposing himself as Jean-Claude and
as an actor. It was wonderful. I really would like to see
more of that.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things
learned along the way to pass on to others?
To never give up, keep trying. Donít wait for someone to
come along and hand your dreams to you. The only person that
is going to make it happen is you.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
finished another short script,Ē War AngelĒ. Itís about a
retired Army nurse, recalling a day during World War two
that change her life forever.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where do you see yourself in
five years from now?
working full time as a screenwriter and filmmaker. To quote
one of my favorite football coaches. ďBelieve deep down in
your heart that youíre destined to do great things.Ē I
certainly believe that. So watch out World!!
My other non-tip
is to forget all the rules and just write the most
compelling story you possibly can, in the most economical
way feasible. If you enjoy writing it, you know youíre on
the right path.
top of page
© 1999-2016 by FilmMakers.com All rights reserved.
is a division of Media Pro Tech Inc.