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PARTNER

American Gem Short Screenplay & Literary Festival
2011 Screenplay Contest

Enter your Short Screenplay, Short Story, Treatment in American Gem Short Screenplay Contest / Literary Festival. 

Winning Screenplay in the American Gem Short Screenplay Contest will be Produced.

Grand Prize Winner / Short Screenplay Gets to Pitch Screenplay to Producers, Studio Executives and Agents. Certificate of achievement awards to the Top 25 scripts and top 3 in each of the other categories.

from script to screen

 


| Interviews | Loglines | Synopsis | Script Excerpts | Winners |

 

FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards
Screenplay Contest Interview

 
 

ELITE PRIZE WINNER

CATEGORY 1 / Crime Thriller

Paul Moxham

Screenplay
AMERISTOCRACY
Crime thriller

Paul Moxham
of Monbulk, Victoria, Australia

Biography

Paul Moxham was born and raised up in a vegan household in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. After completing High School, he tried going to University but quit to write novels which soon led him to write movies. He lives at home with his parents and writes during the day and watches movies at night.

He has written 9 feature length scripts so far and has 2 that are currently being shopped. The first one, AMERISTOCRACY, placed as a finalist in the 2009 Story Pros Contest and as an Honorable Mention in the June 09 Script Savvy competition.

His second script is BLIZZARD, a sharp thriller that mixes Cliffhanger with High Noon and is set in the mountainous landscape of Montana. It is currently being read by several agents and producers and has gained a Recommend from Coverage Ink. Also, Jim Cirile, founder and owner of Coverage Ink, states this is ďa solid and inventive actioner, one of the best Iíve seen in a long while.Ē.

Interview

Part 1.

 

I knew we wanted to be screenwriters........

I was nearing the end of my first year of an accounting course and I started to spend more time finishing my novel than doing study. Then I decided to try to write a script and started it the same time I was supposed to study for my exams. But I couldnít do two things at once and I gave up accountancy in the hope for a better life.
 


I know I've succeeded........ 

When my family and I can go to my local theatre and watch a movie and, at the end of it, the credits appear and they say ĎScreenplay by Paul Moxhamí. That is when I know that I, Paul Moxham, am a working and living scriptwriter.

 

My inspiration to write Ameristocracy.....

is a what-if story. What if there was a secret room in the White House? What if there was something going on that the public didnít know about? What if it was so hush-hush that even the President of the United States didnít know about it? And that started the ball rollingÖ

 

Part 2.

 

FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Paul Moxham: I wrote short stories from an early age. Then, after I finished high school I wrote 3 novels which inspired me to write my first screenplay, and it has gone on from there.

FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?

Paul Moxham: I just took a look at 5 of so scripts to get a sense of the format and then I wrote. And, three months later, I finished the first draft.

FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?

Paul Moxham: No, it isnít, but from writing the first page to the draft that won this competition took just over 1 year.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?

Paul Moxham: I live at home with my parents and work at my computer in my bedroom. While writing this script I would try to achieve 5 pages a day. Anything over that was a bonus. I know most writers write early but I like to get up and eat and read before starting writing around 1 PM.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?

Paul Moxham: For me, living in Australia, contests are important. If I enter a script into a bunch of contests and it doesnít make it into the top 25% I know that the script needs improving. Mind you, just because a script wins doesnít mean that someone in the industry will instantly snap it up, but it gives you a decent shot. Basically I try everything. From contests to query letters to consultants to coverage people. But what works for one person might not work for another. Thatís why I try everything.

FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards / Screenplay Contest?

Paul Moxham: I took a look at the previous winner for 2008 and I thought to myself -- I have a better story than that -- And that was that.

FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?

Paul Moxham: The Tourist, the one that is now being filmed for Jolie and Depp and for release in early 2011, is amazing. I read the 2008 draft and I was sucked in by the first page. I just really liked it, read it in one sitting, and it is the best script that I have ever read. It made me push myself to write like they did.

FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?

Paul Moxham: I like playing golf, reading, watching movies, playing games, and current affairs. And, being a life-long vegan along with my parents, Iím passionate about animal rights. I believe that if everyone in the world went vegan the world be a better place for the environment, the animals, and themselves. Being a vegan or vegetarian is no longer just for hippies. There are numerous actors and actresses that are vegan and itís growing. The trend has taken off and I really look forward to the day when being vegan is more popular than being non-vegan. My mother is a huge leader in informing people about the injustice going on with animals since she writes letters to newspapers and once I become a successful screenwriter I aim to do the same. Not to write letters, though, but to use all that fame and fortune to help with animal rights and other noteworthy causes that I believe will make the world a better place.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Paul Moxham: Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci for the stories that they write and for the success they have had. But I donít believe that a screenwriter is solely responsible for a good movie and that is why I donít really have a favorite as such. The director and actors are what really brings a movie to life, so while I like Youíve Got Mail, it wouldnít have been the same without Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?

Paul Moxham:
Stephen Speilberg. Anything attached to his name is big. An epic. Any writer lives for the day that they can say ďIím working with Spielberg. Stephen Spielberg.Ē And the fact that heís a vegetarian is a plusÖ

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?

Paul Moxham: Tom Hanks is the modern day Cary Grant and James Stewart rolled into one. He may not be as good as them, but heís still a gentleman. I love almost every single movie that heís been in and heís someone that I would be really glad to work with anytime, anywhere.

FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?

Paul Moxham: A lot of people state that if you decide to write because of the money, donít write. I disagree. I decided to write scripts instead of novels because I could make more money as a scriptwriter. And, at the end of the day, you either have what it takes or you donít. It doesnít matter why you enter this line of business. I came to make money and if I donít succeed Iíll stop writing. Itís as simple as that.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Paul Moxham: BLIZZARD is a sharp thriller with plenty of exciting set pieces and countless twists and turns that I am currently shopping around to agents and producers. Itís getting quite a bit of attention so hopefully; soon, someone will pick it up. Iím also polishing two high concept comedies. Iím very excited about these scripts and canít wait till I shop them around later this year.

FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?

Paul Moxham: Strolling down the red carpet alongside A-List actors for the premiere of my first major movieÖ

 

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