American Gem 2007 Short Screenplay Competition - KILLER INSTINCT
  American Gem Short Screenplay Competition
2007 WINNERS  

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Jay Deas

Runner Up

Jay Deas
of Northport, AL

Jay Deas was a television crime reporter in Alabama and Florida before starting Skyy Promotions Boxing in 1995. Having written for Ring Magazine and Boxing Update,he decided to get his hands dirty and opened his own boxing gym in 1998 to train, manage and promote fighters. So far, so good. They've fought in Russia, Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, Dubai and throughout the US. His heavyweight Deontay Wilder just made the US Olympic team and will compete in Beijing for the 2008 games.

He also served as an advisor on the boxing movie, "Johnny Flynton", which was a 2003 Academy Award nominee for best short film.


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

when I saw “JAWS.”


I know I've succeeded.......  

in opening the door a little bit by making the finals of the American Gem.

My inspiration to write KILLER INSTINCT.......

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.




FilmMakers Magazine: 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 screenplay.”

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

Jay Deas: Killer Instinct is not my first script. My first one took nine months to write. Killer Instinct took six weeks.

FilmMakers Magazine: 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?

Jay Deas: 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?

Jay Deas: I entered the American Gem because it is for short screenplays, which I enjoy writing more than feature-length scripts.

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

Jay Deas: I would urge aspiring writers to read five screenplays from movies that most resemble what they want to write.

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

Jay Deas: I am most passionate about boxing. I train, manage and promote a dozen fighters and I own a boxing gym.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Jay Deas:  Anthony Minghella. He says so much with so few words. Very sparse writing style.

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

Jay Deas: 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!

FilmMakers Magazine: 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.

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

Jay Deas: 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.

FilmMakers Magazine: 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 now?

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!


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