Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Alaina Warren Zachary

Chicago Screenplay Awards Questionnaire

By Chicago Screenplay Awards Dept.

Who are you and where are you from? 

I am Alaina Warren Zachary from Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Where and when did you come up with the idea for your screenplay?

Decades ago, as a member of The Proposition, an improv show Off Broadway, some of us wrote together and that’s where the seed idea was born. I took a tv writing workshop a few years ago in Santa Fe and the idea was there waiting to be developed! 

Can you take us through your screenwriting process? 

From the macro to the micro: I hand write in pencil all the broad ideas. How the story unfolds, scenes that need to be included etc., specific lines, character descriptions, and a whole lotta “what-ifs.” At that point I may move to Final Draft and begin inputting.

What made you want to become a screenwriter?

I have stories that I need to tell AND explore. Film allows subtlety, immersion, the ability to dazzle. Each aspect of film tells the story. Unfathomable riches! 

Who are your biggest filmmaking influences? 

Mel Brooks, Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy, Taika Waititi

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

Comedy wins out! Waiting for Guffman, also Young Frankenstein

What’s your favorite moment in cinema history? 

That very cliched dropping of the snow globe in Citizen Kane,  but let me explain.  It was the first film I ever studied and therefore the most impactful.

Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? 

Impossible to decide~

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

Sid Caesar. I would ask him to tell me about funny and I’d create at least one sketch with him. And then we’d invite Imogene Coca.



Spread the word