Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist (Mark)

What’s your name? Where were you born? Where do you live? And what’s your hobby?

Mark. England. London. My hobby is Podcasting: I co-host The Worst Writer in the World, a show where my oldest friend reads everything I’ve ever written from the age of 6 and up and we’re mean about it. The show is available free from wherever you get your podcasts.

Where did you come up with the concept that just placed as Finalist in the screenplay contest? How long did it take you to develop it into the screenplay it is now?

I was writing a different script for a producer and I hated it so much I contemplated shooting myself in the head. Since shooting myself in the head seemed counter-productive to finishing the screenplay I got my main character to do this instead. This script took more than ten years. Occasionally I did other things in between.

From concept to finished draft, can you take us through your screenwriting process?

Write something. Hate it and myself. Put it away. Ignore it. Rewrite it. Hate the rewrite and myself. Put it away. Rinse and repeat until I can tolerate it. And myself.

When did you realize that you wanted to become a screenwriter?

When I was approximately 12 and started sending Dr Who scripts to the BBC.

Who are your biggest filmmaking/screenwriting influences? What about their style do you like or borrow?

Amongst many, I love Charlie Kaufmann and Andrew Niccol. I take my angst from the former and my happy endings from the latter.

Have you ever been obsessed with a movie or TV show? If so, which one? Why?

Many years I was obsessed with Doctor Who, I liked it for its silly and sometimes dark humour, which I soon discovered was due to genius Douglas Adams’ stint on the show. Now I like shows such as  Succession and Better Call Saul, which I likewise adore because they have me laughing at silly and terrible things.

What’s your favorite moment in cinema history? Why?

I enjoyed the Sony hack.

Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? Why?

Anyone from Fargo. Perfect cast.

If you could talk to anyone from any era, who would it be and what would you ask them? 

Stanley Kubrick, to ask him how he faked the moon landing.