Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Questionnaire (Sam Tracton)

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

Sam Tracton hailing from Roslyn, Pennsylvania, a small town forty-five minutes west of Philadelphia. The son of a physical therapist and an actor/IT support specialist.

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

I knew I wanted to tell stories. I saw my father in a community theatre production of Ragtime for the first time. That was inspiring. Initially hoping to become an actor, I was drawn more to the long-form of screenplay structure and character development.

Where did you come up with the concept that just placed you as a Finalist in the screenplay contest?

By my first year of high school, I had taught myself the basics of screenwriting. Then set about improving my craft. Therefore, turning in the original script outline of my first feature-length screenplay DRAGONSTEEL as a graduation project.

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

I enjoy entertainment shows. Some of them were Avatar: The Last Airbender and Gravity Falls and the murky morality of Humphrey Bogart noirs. Lastly, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

How long did it take you to develop it into the screenplay it is now? From concept to finished draft, can you take us through your screenwriting process?

Attending Rowan University to major in Theatre and minor in TV Studies. I set about making tangible progress to my ideas. Undertaking roles that consisted of editing my previous screenplays. (A recent draft of DRAGONSTEEL’s has been a semi-finalist in both the Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards 2019 Holiday Competition and the 2020 Atlanta Screenplay Awards). Most importantly, bringing life to OPERATIVE D. In between homework, shifts as a house manager, and writing for Rowan Television Network, I painstakingly crafted the screenplay.

It is the story of James MacIntyre. The titular former Operative D, an ex-assassin, attempts to put his past behind him. Then tries to become something resembling a good person. Inspired by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and character-driven espionage shows such as Burn Notice. The question here is whether a man who enjoys harming others can ever be considered good even if he wants to. The first draft of the pilot script successfully placed as a semi-finalist in the 2020 Winter New York City International Screenplay Awards.

Inspired and encouraged by the feedback provided, I hunkered down and revised the screenplay. Moreover, turning it into the superior draft that currently exists.