American Gem 2007 Short Screenplay Competition - DAMNED YANKEE
  American Gem Short Screenplay Competition
2007 WINNERS  

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Cindy L. Keller

Sixth Place Winner

Cindy L. Keller
of Belleville, MI

Cindy hails from the metro Detroit area, and was strongly influenced by the 60's monster movies, and also by Stephen King.

She has been a semi-finalist in a few contests, and a winner of the Hellfire's Short Horror Competition.


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

after I wrote a poem titled, "Night of Nosferatu". It was published in two magazines, and I was told that it should be incorporated into a movie. There was a click in my brain, and the screenwriting light began to call out to me.

I know I've succeeded.......  

when I let someone read my work, and the reader says they like it, and don't have any questions.

My inspiration to write DAMNED YANKEE.......

came about when I wanted to write a zombie script. I don't know what really inspired me, but I knew I didn't want just an ordinary zombie script. I wanted something really strange.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Cindy L. Keller: Geesh... It could be anything that catches my eye a certain way.

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

Cindy L. Keller: I purchased a copy of The Screenwriter's Bible, and joined a writing group.

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

Cindy L. Keller: Damned Yankee took three days to write, and another couple days doing the rewrite.

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

Cindy L. Keller:

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

Cindy L. Keller: I do believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters. It's a way to get recognition for all your hard work.

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

Cindy L. Keller: I entered The American Gem Screenwriting Competition because it is for short scripts, and the prizes are outstanding compared to other competitions.

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

Cindy L. Keller: I wouldn't urge writers to read a certain scripts. I would urge them to read a variety of scripts, especially in their genre.

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

Cindy L. Keller: Besides screenwriting I am passionate about my children and grandchildren. They are the best things in my life that I had a part in creating.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Cindy L. Keller: I don't have a favorite screenwriter, but two pop to mind, Clive Barker and Quentin Tarantino.

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

Cindy L. Keller: Hard to say, but I do like how Rob Zombie puts things together.

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

Cindy L. Keller:
Put me on the spot... I have three. Quentin Tarantino, Chevy Chase, and George Clooney.

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

Cindy L. Keller: Yes. Read a lot. Strive to make each character unique. Listen to everyday conversations to improve dialogue. Join a writing group.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Cindy L. Keller: I've dusted off an old feature of mine, and am in the process of doing a rewrite.

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

Cindy L. Keller: I'll be writing, writing, and doing more writing. Hopefully I will have a feature produced by then.


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