Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Alaina Warren Zachary and Josh Taylor

Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Alaina Warren Zachary and Josh Taylor

Chicago Screenplay Awards Questionnaire

By Chicago Screenplay Awards Dept.

Alaina Warren Zachary

Alaina Warren and Josh Taylor

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.

Josh Taylor

Who are you and where are you from? Josh Taylor, born and raised outside of Baltimore, but now a fifteen year resident of New York City.

Where and when did you come up with the idea for your screenplay? Sitting by the Hudson River with my fiance, I was brought back to a memory of a trip to a fortuneteller when I got the idea for a story. I wrote a novella about a fortuneteller who tells a heartbroken young man one very good thing and one terrible thing that will happen in a short period of time.  I adapted the screenplay from the novella.

Can you take us through your screenwriting process?

My screenwriting process always starts with the story, in prose form. It could be a short story, novella, or a novel. But typically, I find that my novellas or longer short stories are best suited to be adapted to a screenplay. From there, I have all the details I need, then it’s a matter of visualizing the cinematic movement of the story.

What made you want to become a screenwriter?

I’ve always loved storytelling, but have also always been in love with movies since early childhood.

Who are your biggest filmmaking influences?

Spielberg, Tarantino, Scorsese

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

Yes, LOST.

What’s your favorite moment in cinema history?

The Normandy scene from Saving Private Ryan.

Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? Forrest Gump.

If you could talk to anyone from any era, who would it be and what would you ask them?  Bob Dylan. I would probably just stutter and mumble. He’s an absolute legend.

Spread the word

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn