Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Q & A with PROGGER's Angela Schultz

I thought it would be fun to ring in the new year by interviewing those unsung screenwriters whose work I especially enjoyed, in a series of Q&A's with the creators behind each of my top three script sections for 2006.

My first interview is with Angela Schultz, whose script PROGGER was not only featured on this blog, but will go into production this summer!

TUC: Hello Angela.

Schultz: Thanks so much for the kudos!!! I appreciate all that you are doing to help promote writers and their scripts. I hope to hear more success stories in the future!

TUC: Thanks a lot. Let’s start off at the beginning. Tell us a little about your writing background.

Schultz: I have been writing screenplays ever since a college buddy "tricked" me into taking a script writing course in college. I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City and my major was 3-D illustration and graphic design. I needed some humanities courses to fill up my credits and I was taking a creative writing class where a friend suggested that I take a script writing class which was a whopping three credits! But little did I know I had to finish a 100 page script by the end of the semester! So between going to college full-time, doing my portfolio, working part time and having a life, I had to crank out a feature-length screenplay! But that was when my love affair with script writing was born and I have been doing it for over 18 years now.

TUC: That’s incredible. Hollywood is so full of hotshot would-be screenwriters expecting to make that great big sale before they’re even out of college. But I think becoming a real writer takes time—you need to find your voice, and that process can take years.

Schultz: I have won several awards, had a reading of a script sponsored by Disney, came close to making a sale several times, met many hardships, bad agents, shysters, disappointments, joined script writing networks, read a lot books, took film courses, made some films and am now working toward the goal of being a filmmaker.

TUC: Let’s talk about PROGGER. How did you come up with the script?

Schultz: It's funny because I had just written a blog for my newly formed MySpace.com page (http://www.myspace.com/proggerproductions) which answers that very question!

Back in 1998, a magical thing happened. I was introduced to the music of the Flower Kings. One song, off of Roine Stolt's Flower King album, inspired a vision of two people falling in love while listening to the band's music. Then 9/11 happened... I was so depressed with the images and the constant reminders of the tragic and horrific events. I desperately needed something to make me laugh -- take me away from the brutal realities and transport me to world of hope and dreams... then the image of two people falling in love while listening to the Flower Kings returned... and so I closed the door and started to write.

Flash forward: Progger. I wrote a feature-length romantic comedy screenplay about the thirty-something Progressive Rock music lover who has yet to meet the girl of his dreams. Through many drafts, readings by professional actors and critiques by script readers, the script was tweaked and polished into a viable "blueprint" for a film.

Flash forward to the present. Our favorite Hollywood script reader (Editor’s note: no, she wasn't paid to say this) published a blog stating that he would read unproduced scripts and I submitted Progger to him thinking, "What the heck... " Three days after I submitted the script he gave it a positive review!

Before then, I had made friends, just chatting and being sociable, with a producer who has done feature films and documentaries. He had a script at the time that he was ready to produce. He allowed me to read it, but I wasn't too thrilled with it simply because it reminded me too much of other films I had seen. But I wished him luck with his film, nonetheless. When I received the positive critique from The Unsung Critic, I just had to share it with him, as a friend, and after reading the blog, he requested the script -- and low and behold -- Progger is now in production!

TUC: That’s great! I had no idea that my blog played such a large part in helping the project see the light of day. It tickles me to learn that. How are things going so far with the film?

Schultz: Currently, I have been breaking down the script for production, preparing the budget, casting the film, scouting out locations, seeking financing and distribution, etc... Making a movie is a heck of a lot of work!

TUC: Any other projects you’ve been involved with?

Schultz: I shot a two hour concert film with two good friends of mine of the group of Swedish band, the Flower Kings, the band that inspired the Progger script. You can see a few of my videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/proggerprod. I hope to add more soon!

TUC: Finally, is there any advice you’d like to give to our fellow writers out there?

Schultz: My advice to budding scriptwriters: Don't give up! Make your own break! Don't ever get discouraged. And most importantly, keep on writing!

TUC: That’s great Angela! And congrats on the film. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to seeing it, so keep us updated, OK?

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