Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist (Randall R. Reese)

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

Randall R. Reese – I was born in Medina, NY, which is halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, NY. Although I moved to the Pacific Northwest for 10 years, I just moved back to my hometown. Screenwriting is my hobby until one of my scripts sells!


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

There is a small amusement park north of Buffalo that opened in 1961. When they announced they were closing in 2020, that inspired me to write a sitcom pilot about a small amusement park that is scheduled to close, but the workers hatch a scheme to save it.


How long did it take you to develop it into the screenplay it is now?

I wrote the first half when the amusement park closed. When it was announced someone had purchased the park, I wrote the second half.


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

As far as what gives me ideas to write about, I’m not sure. I just have an idea hit me. I do have a historical fiction feature screenplay (and novel) that I thought was a story that needed to be told. I tend to write in a linear fashion. I start with one scene and go on to the next. I don’t usually skip around because I want to make sure everything connects together.


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

I recognized I was pretty good writer in high school. Years later I owned a standup comedy club. I thought it would be a neat TV show to see behind the scenes of a comedy club. That was my first attempt at a script, and it was horrible. It is locked away, never to see the light of day.


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

I actually never watched a lot of movies growing up and into adulthood. I still get a lot of  “You never saw that movie?!?”


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

Having grown up in the 80’s I am fascinated with The Goldbergs and how the creator was able to take snippets of old family videos and make whole episodes out of them.