Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Questionnaire (Kevin J. Howard)

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

My name is Kevin J. Howard and I were born in Mission Viejo, CA. I currently live in Washington state with my two sons. In my free time, when I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my children. So, it’s likely to say just like a stereotypical writer, I’m pretty reclusive.

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

The concept, like all of my screenplay outlines, hit me out of nowhere. I see it within my mind, from beginning to end, and just have to write it. Consequently, the entire screenplay took three weeks and was completed just a few months ago.

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

I finish all of my screenplays the same way. The idea usually hits me like a bolt of lightning, like a movie within my mind. I then outline the screenplay with a paragraph for each scene, usually 20 pages in length. Furthermore, with the outline as my roadmap, I let my fingers dance. It takes about four weeks for me to complete each script.

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

In 2002, I came up with an idea for a novel that just needed to be seen on the big screen, but I’d never written a screenplay before. So, I bought a single book on screenplay format and wrote my very first screenplay. It went on to be a finalist in the Las Vegas International Film Festival as well as the Beverly Hills Film Festival. I couldn’t believe it. Since then, I’ve completed 12 screenplays that have placed in 27 countries!

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

Some of my biggest influences would be the works of James Cameron, Philip K. Dick, Stephen King, Ridley Scott. Also, I have developed my style over a lifetime of enjoying the work of the writers listed above.

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

I actually don’t watch much TV and if I have any free time I’m usually writing. Usually, only old shows, like Seinfeld or the Simpson’s interest me. I figure that if a show is on that I’ve seen several times, then it won’t distract me while I write. Even though many might find it unusual that I type with the TV and music on. Unlike a golfer, I encourage distraction. ?

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

When Jim Carey’s boat hit’s the wall in ‘The Truman Show’, that’s one of my favorite scenes. To watch him place a hand to the wall, to confirm what he’d always thought, blended beautifully with Jim Carey’s emotions, is very well done. An odd pick, maybe, but this scene did what every filmmaker hopes to achieve: it sticks out in my mind. ?

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

There are a few characters I enjoy but nothing outstanding. I would say, toward the top of my list, you’d find Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Because of his eccentric antics and clever lines, I am inspired. Moreover, I’ve always thought that I would run a business in a similar matter, except with better medical for the Oompa-Loompa’s.

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

Honestly, I would probably want to talk to Stephen King. Why? When I was in the fifth grade, I read Stephen King’s ‘It’. While reading, I discovered an entirely different world and I knew right then and there that I was meant to be a writer. If I needed to ask him a question, it would probably be this: When did you know you were a writer, and what led you to this discovery or how would you write a film?