Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Drew Buxton
Chicago Screenplay Awards Questionnaire
By Chicago Screenplay Awards Dept.
What’s your name? Where were you born? Where do you live? And what’s your hobby?
My name is Drew Buxton. I was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, and I currently live in Champaign, Illinois. I like to dominate other MFAs in bowling in my free time.
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?
My friend Chris told me I couldn’t pull off having D.B. Cooper and Bigfoot in the same story, so I had to write it out of spite. I wrote it as a short story first then converted it to a screenplay, so the script came pretty quickly.
From concept to finished draft, can you take us through your screenwriting process?
So far I have only written scripts based on fiction I’ve written, so the concepts and scenes are already there. The main issue is putting exposition into dialogue in a natural way.
When did you realize that you wanted to become a screenwriter?
I only recently decided to give it a try. It’s difficult to make it as a writer, so I figure I might as well try it from multiple angles.
Who are your biggest filmmaking/screenwriting influences? What about their style do you like or borrow?
I’m a big fan of the Coen brothers. They have an incredible way of writing dialogue where the humor is unforced and comes out naturally.
Have you ever been obsessed with a movie or TV show? If so, which one? Why?
Quite a few. I’ve become obsessed with Seinfeld all over again recently. I watch the movie Brick pretty often. I’m really jealous of the concept.
What’s your favorite moment in cinema history? Why?
Probably Brando’s horror speech in Apocalypse Now. It’s the greatest madman speech of all time. He’s clearly lost it and evil, but you’re uncomfortable because you kinda understand his logic. That’s the key to the crazy villain speech.
Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? Why?
That’s really tough. Probably Michael Corleone. It’s incredible to see his slow descent from when we see him at the wedding in Part I to the end of Part II.
If you could talk to anyone from any era, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I was looking for a good book on Attila the Hun recently, and there seems to be a consensus there just aren’t enough reliable sources on him. So maybe him. I’d ask “What’s the endgame, Attila?”