American Gem 2007 Short Screenplay Competition - OUTRAGE
  American Gem Short Screenplay Competition
2007 WINNERS  

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Dennis Michael Jones

Runner Up

Dennis Michael Jones
of New York, NY

Dennis Michael Jones was born in Harlem, New York where he still lives. He retired from the New York Transit Authority in 1991 and currently works part-time as an instructor for a large bus company. He took up writing as a hobby about fifteen years ago and wrote numerous stories of various genres. After submitting them to agencies for possible publishing, they were rejected. A friend told him that several of them would make good screenplays. Years went by and he decided to experiment turning the stories into screenplays. He has no professional writing experience and has taught himyself the proper screenplay format by reading other scripts. He really didn’t take screenwriting seriously until he started submitting scripts to contests and that’s where he is now.


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

when I found out that the stories I wrote would be better suited as scripts.


I know I've succeeded.......  

when I actually see my name on a screen as “Written By” or “Screenplay By”.


My inspiration to write OUTRAGE.......

came from daily news papers, tabloids, disgusting things that display man’s inhumanity to man.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Dennis Michael Jones: The fact that I could take something someone said about a subject and turn it into a story.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: I thought about the subject matter, characters, settings and what the script was about.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: No, this is actually my 39th script and it took me about ten days to complete. Once I get going on a plot, I write until I feel its time to stop.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: No. Sometimes I jump up at 3am and turn on the computer and write because of something I just thought of.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: Yes I do. If you ask a friend to read your work, they’ll always say it’s good. But if you send it in as an entry, several people will read it and give you an un-biased opinion.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: I received an email from a website about the contest. I had quite a few scripts and I decided to send in one.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: Strange as it may seem, the only script I have ever read was “ALIEN” which I picked up at a flea market. The format, characters and dialogue are good and the script is a perfect example of how a screenplay should be written.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: Photography. I love taking pictures. I have several digital cameras that I use and I sometimes shoot weddings and babies and things that look interesting. I carry a small digital camera every where I go.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Dennis Michael Jones: I don’t really know any screenwriters by name that I could call a favorite. The fact that a screenwriter has his/her name listed in the credits is testimony to their success and, if it’s a good picture, I try to remember who wrote it.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: Quentin Tarrentino. He seems to be an offbeat director who sometimes goes against the grain which, in some cases, could be a good thing. It gets you noticed.

Name an actor I would love to work with and why?

Tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?


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

Dennis Michael Jones: That’s a toss up. There are so many actors out there who are great in their field. Anyone who would portray a character in anything I wrote, I would love to work with them.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: Sure. First, make sure that this is what you really want to do professionally. Take time out to know the proper format and work in a quite place with no distractions. It worked for me.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Dennis Michael Jones: Well, I’ll just keep writing as long as I don’t run out of ideas. It’s something I like to do.

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

Dennis Michael Jones: Here, I hope. I’ll be 70 years old in five years.


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