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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


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FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards
Screenplay Contest Interview



CATEGORY 3 / Comedy

Jessica DiGiacinto


Jessica DiGiacinto
of Hollis, NH, USA


Jessica DiGiacinto - A New England native who got her MFA from Tisch (NYU) in 2008, Jessica currently lives in Boulder, CO and plans on moving west to Southern California in the fall. A New Media Editor / Freelance Writer by day, Jessica has placed well in both national and international screenwriting contests, and at the moment is working with a studio who's made movies people have actually heard of. Jessica wants to work full time as a screenwriter, but until that happens, she's happiest when laughing, singing, watching 30 Rock, and pretending to be disgusted by tabloids at the check-out counter while actually really enjoying them.


Part 1.


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

when I realized I saw writing more like a bunch of pictures than a bunch of words. I started writing when I was super young as a way to preserve some of the stuff my imagination would come up with. These days, it's the same thing. Movies have always affected me in a deeply visceral way…they were and at times still are, 100% magic.

I know I've succeeded........ 

when I'm living by the beach, writing screenplays for a living. When paying the bills isn't painful, and when lots of different people all over the world can connect through the films I help create. Also: when Oprah calls.


My inspiration to write THE GREAT AMERICAN LOSER....

hit me randomly one night as I was brushing my hair in the mirror (a weird Marsha Brady moment, I know). I wasn't thinking about anything, and then all of a sudden I had a thought: what if a normal girl landed a hot guy…and not just any hot guy…her hot, former teacher who was wanted by many…would the world as we know it still be able to exist with a "Female Loser" comedy? Could it unfold in a real way? …and that was the beginning. 


Part 2.


FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Jessica DiGiacinto: It sounds lame, but it's true. Writing is just who I am.

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: I think I read half a screenwriting book, got bored, and went into the whole thing blindly.

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: This is not my first script. And it took a long time…maybe a year on and off. Plus more, because it's still changing.

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

Jessica DiGiacinto:
Not really. I prefer to procrastinate as much as possible. I do get a lot of writing done during the day but it's erratic until I sit down and actually force myself to concentrate. I like coffee shops because whenever I get bored with my own words I can just eavesdrop on someone else's.

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: I do believe they're important. While they're not the final say, they're a gauge on your talent, pacing, characters, and overall idea. They're good on a resume. Besides, who else is an aspiring screenwriter going to turn to for advice? Their grandma? She'll love everything you ever do so it's not necessarily best way to improve… 

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: I heard it was a good contest with a lot of industry respect

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: In general, I think it's a great idea to read other scripts for format and dialogue help, but I couldn't list a specific one off the top of my head because I don't think any one example is going to be the holy grail. Just pick a writer or style that you enjoy and go for it.

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: Teaching, because it's an amazing way to give back. Working to help people realize that we're all in this together, so we might as well decide to love instead of hate. …I'm also passionate about the MTV masterpiece The Jersey Shore, but I don't think that's what you meant by this question.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Jessica DiGiacinto: I don't have a favorite screenwriter per se, but I think Tina Fey and Alan Ball are just absolutely amazing. They get it. They really do.

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: I'd like to work with anyone who gets me as a writer and who is interested in creating art that brings a little joy to people's lives. 

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: There are too many to narrow it down to just one, but I really think Ryan Gosling has an amazing way with both humor and pathos. He is also hot. This helps.

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: Most people who tell you "This Is How You Do It" and "This Is Just How It Is" are either bitter or full of themselves. Make your own rules. Do it your own way. If you truly want to succeed, you will.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Jessica DiGiacinto: Hopefully: recognition, money, and that beachside cottage I've been dreaming about. Also: Season 2 of The Jersey Shore.

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

Jessica DiGiacinto: This type of question always makes me feel like hyperventilating just a little bit, so let's just say I'll be Happy, Fulfilled, and Successful.


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