when a story idea I have for a
screenplay makes its way from my head to completion on the computer.
My inspiration to write TIME AND TIDE.......
It was more of a challenge to myself to write a good, strong, likable female
character. And an older one you don't often see on the big screen. I think
important for people to know that no matter how old one is, a person often
still feels young inside. So, I thought, "Where is the last place an old
person would want to go? A nursing home." Then, I thought, "Where could an
older person be taken care of, yet still have some fun? A cruise ship." I came
up with the family conflict and had my story. I see Joan Plowright or Judy
Dench in the lead role. It
would be an honor to have either of those great actresses say one's
What inspired you to write?
Ron Podell: I've always been writing stories since I was a kid
and started formally as a sports writer (sophomore year) on my high
school paper. I've continued as a journalist by trade. I've been
watching movies my whole life and had an inkling that, at some point,
I would move from journalism to writing screenplays. I like the
feeling of creating something tangible from my imagination.
FilmMakers Magazine: How did you prepare yourself to
write your first script?
I read David
Trottier's "The Screenwriter's Bible" and read a couple of
professional screenplays. I thought up a firm beginning and an ending,
and said, "Now, you have to get there from here." It was fun. I'm sure
having seen thousands of movies subconsciously helped.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is
this your first script and how long did it take you to write TIME AND TIDE?
It was my first short
script, but second overall. As I recall, I worked off and on for about
2 1/2 weeks on "Time and Tide".
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
motto is "One page
each day. In 30 days, you have 30 pages." I try to stick to that. I
probably should be writing at least three pages a day, but I still
have a full-time job and a life. I usually type at my computer in my
den late at night. Sometimes, I go to the Barnes and Noble on weekend
afternoons and jot down script pages freehand.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests
are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?
Yes. I think writers
know how difficult it is to land an agent or manager. Many of us feel
we can drive, but haven't yet been given our license. Because most
readers of contests are involved in the industry in some aspect,
awards from screenplay contests provide validation that one has talent
and gets your name out there. It helps budding screenwriters build a
resume and cement
influenced you to enter the
American Gem Short Script Competition?
The opportunity to
have my script made into a film with professional SAG actors, receive
sole writer credit and make a little money in the process. It's a
great prize for a short. I also understand that American Gem typically
receives more than 1,000 script entries for this competition. It helps
let you gauge how you stack up among emerging screenwriters. I feel
honored to have been named a finalist and finish seventh overall.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Robert Towne's script is the blueprint for how it should be done. It's
smart, witty, descriptive, has some great twists and it's written
tight. He doesn't waste words. Each one has a purpose.
Beside screenwriting what are you
passionate about and why?
Physical fitness. A
sound body creates a sound and clear mind.
Exercising clears out the clutter in my head and makes my mind sharp.
That's crucial for writing scripts and my day job.
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
I don't really have
one. I will say that, in the past few years, I've most enjoyed Robert
Monahan's "The Departed" and Diablo Cody's "Juno." To me, those
scripts sung. After I saw those films, I told anyone who would listen
that those scripts would win Academy Awards. And they did.
FilmMakers Magazine: Name
the director you would love to work with and why?
Too many to count,
but if I had one choice, I would say Martin Scorsese. He takes words
from the page and turns scenes into poetry in motion.
Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Again, way too many
to count. I'm a fan of so many. I do have a horror/sci fi script,
"Pulp Science Fiction," that I wrote with Denis Leary, Ice Cube,
Mickey Rourke, Richard Gere, Eva Mendes and Christopher Walken, among
others, in mind.
Any tips and things learned along
the way to pass on to others?