Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Questionnaire (Terry Lynam)

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

Terry Lynam (Finalist script Motherkiller). Born Duluth, Minnesota, living now in Vero Beach, Florida.  Hobby includes playing tennis.

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?

Got the idea from a letter to the editor of a newspaper. It had a cop along with a female prosecutor. Moreover, the cop had feelings for her. This prosecutor became the protagonist. I wrote the script outline in about 2006 and revised it in 2020-21 when I added the B-story.

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

Wrote the A-story in 2006. Then I realized in 2020-21 it needed a B-story so added one. Besides these few things, there wasn’t much to do.

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

Wrote my first screenplay format in 2003 and I thought it was great. It wasn’t, but I got hooked on the process. Furthermore, I tried to strengthen the idea. It’s equally important to treat the idea in the best way possible.

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

The biggest screenwriting influences have come from books. Since I’ve read about 60 books on screenwriting, they are surely the number one influence.

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

I’ve never been obsessed with a tv show or a movie. Even though it might appear strange but it’s the truth.

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

Favorite moment. Maybe in Gone with the Wind when the camera pulls back from scarlet tending to wounded Confederate troops and we see not just the 20 soldiers near her, but thousands of wounded soldiers. Also Maybe in The Naked Prey at the end – the native chief gives a wave to our hero, Cornel Wilde, to acknowledge his cunning and courage in pulling off his escape. Along with these two, Cornel waves back also proved to be a great experience. Maybe every time Robert Newton, as Long John Silver, gives a pirate look in Treasure Island.

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

Favorite cinema character is by far Bogart in The African Queen. What an actor to be able to pull off that role, the lead in Casablanca, the lead in Treasure of the Sierra Madre with equal credibility. Consequently, it became my favorite character.

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

I’d want to talk to Bill Gates 45 years ago and ask him if I should buy stock in Microsoft and Apple. So, that way I could benefit a lot.