Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Albert Stroth

Chicago Screenplay Awards Questionnaire

By Chicago Screenplay Awards Dept.


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

My name is Albert Stroth and I was born in San Francisco and I live in Los Angeles. My hobby is crossfit.

  1. 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 started with the concept in May 2020 and had the first draft done in June. I’ve done over ten revisions and it’s safe to say it’s taken me 18 months.

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

I wanted to write a cop show and I wanted to be a serial like Bosch or City on the Hill. I started with outlines and listing attributes of my main characters along the setting of San Francisco. With the lists I make, it helps me visualize the characters. I love bank robberies so I had to write that in too. I would write a draft and then I would do an outline of that draft and I would add research on the city, police procedurals and the city history to every draft.

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

2012 is when I took my first class and it’s been a long road but I’m close to doing it professionally. 

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

Taylor Sheridan, David E. Kelley, and Shonda Rhimes are my favorites. They are all great story tellers and their dialogue is cool and all their characters history is rich and dangerous. I love Taylor’s dialogue the best, he is so natural and clever. On David E. Kelley shows, he reveals so many different levels of storytelling that involves so many characters that keeps you wanting to see the next episode. And Shonda who has the best pick up scenes and break up scenes on television now, she creates heat and tension between characters so effortlessly.   

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

Two. I loved Money Heist and The Americans. I watched them both till four in the morning on many of nights when I had to wake up at seven to go to work. Money Heist because I wanted them to get away with the robbery. The Americans, because I loved the politics and wanted to see the family stay in America and not get caught.

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

Shawshank Redemption, when Andy escapes and raises his arms to the sky. I can see it a million times more.

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

Rocky. It was such a great movie and I’ve seen all of them in theaters on opening weekends. You got to always believe in yourself! The Underdog!

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

I grew up watching Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. I would ask the creator Sherwood Schwartz,  how he ran his writing room?

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