Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Questionnaire (Keith Reynolds & Tom Sime)

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

Keith Reynolds. Born and live in Atlanta.

And what’s your hobby?

I enjoy hiking and writing.

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?

So Much Good is a product of the heartbreaking stories about South American migrants within the United States. How does it feel to be a family without legal rights? What happens to a family when the father is deported after years in the United States? This script outline has been in the making for two years.

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

Once a concept germinates, I outline and research for months. The structure and twists percolate and evolve. Therefore, the first draft is rubbish. It’s just a starting point. Then, I edit and edit.

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

I have always enjoyed writing and just recently discovering screenwriting. From characters development to story writing everything is a great fun.

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

I am drawn to stories with broad impact set in a dramatic context. I like movies that show us things we don’t usually see and, in addition, surprise us and give a lesson on how to write film scripts. In So Much Good, a much unexpected relationship emerges from a dark place. Films with significant twists get high marks from me.

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

No. I appreciate many, but never obsessed with any specific screenplay format.

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

I enjoy a good line. A piece of piercing dialogue can last, whether it brings a chuckle, a gasp, or some wisdom.

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

Not sure I have one, but Rick Blaine certainly checks all the boxes for a well written and memorable protagonist – with lots of great lines.

Tom Sime

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

My name is Tom Sime. I was born in Chicago, Illinois. I now live in Jersey City, New Jersey. My hobbies include reading and collecting and listening to music.

Where did you come up with the concept that just placed as Finalist in the screenplay contest? How long did it take you to develop it into the screenplay it is now?

I had a couple of actor friends I wanted to write something for. It originated with character development of the main characters that I wanted them to play. We had plans to film part of it, but they never came to fruition.  I’ve been tinkering with it for about five years.

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

Every script format is different. For Hey I wrote the six episodes, then got together with the actors to do readings so I could hear them out loud and make revisions. Another feature screenplay was developed with a collaborator in Los Angeles, based on one of my stage plays, emailing our drafts back and forth. Recently I adapted a screenplay from a novel that’s in the public domain. The common factor is constantly revising, rewriting and refining. It never stops, and that’s good, because it’s fun to make things better.

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

When I was about 20. I veered off into playwriting for decades, but recently returned to screenplay writing and have been immersed in it for the past few years.

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

George Cukor, Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman, Roman Polanski, Kelly Reichardt. I’m not sure what screenplay lessons I’m borrowing from them, but probably a lot.

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

I’m obsessed with the movies Brokeback Mountain, Rosemary’s Baby and The Thing (John Carpenter’s version). TV shows I’m obsessed with include Schitt’s Creek, Absolutely Fabulous and The Office (American version).

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

Hard to pick just one, but the contender is a scene in Sounder when Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield run into each other’s arms because it makes me cry with joy every time. Also, the endings of Rosemary’s Baby and John Carpenter’s The Thing, because both open up a universe of possibilities even as they brilliantly close the narrative. The screenplay structure of Brokeback Mountain half kills me every time. I need to take a few years off before I watch that again.

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

Probably Rosemary Woodhouse.

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

Abraham Lincoln. I would ask him if he died happily.