Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Nathan Boyer
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 Nathan Boyer. I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and I currently live in Homer Glen, Illinois.
2. 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 came up with the concept my Junior year at DePaul University in 2019. I was always a big fan of animation, and I really wished there was a children’s movie about an LGBTQ+ character. So I decided to create a story about a prince who was coming out in a fairytale world. I wrote the first draft early 2020, and kept rewriting it through the pandemic. I finished the final draft in early 2021. It was very important for me to pull from my own experiences as a gay man, and poke fun at the heteronormative tropes in fairytales.
3. From concept to finished draft, can you take us through your screenwriting process?
It started out as a pitch to one of my classes, I then decided to develop it further for my capstone class. I outlined the entire film before I even wrote a single scene. The first draft was a bit messy, so I rewrote it several times. I had a close screenwriter friend read through each draft and point out flaws to me. It took over a year of rewriting until I felt it was ready to submit.
4. When did you realize that you wanted to become a screenwriter?
My passion for storytelling started when I was involved with my high school’s theatre department. My senior year I wrote a short play about an alien family that moved to Earth, and I was able to direct it for my theatre class. People ended up really liking it and I fell in love with writing. In college I majored in film, and eventually took a focus in screenwriting.
5. Who are your biggest filmmaking/screenwriting influences? What about their style do you like or borrow?
I’ve been really inspired by Dan Levy and Schitt’s Creek. He made a world without homophobia and created a really sweet love story between two men. It’s just a very positive depiction and I try to give a similar “feel good” message in my work. I also really love both Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling. I’m a big fan of their shows, and I love the unique tones they capture.
6. Have you ever been obsessed with a movie or TV show? If so, which one? Why?
My first real TV show obsession was with Spongebob Squarepants when I was a kid. I would watch every episode and talk about it literally all day. As I got older, I got really into Star Wars, the Simpsons, and several other shows and movies.
7. What’s your favorite moment in cinema history? Why?
I love the scene in WALL-E where Wall-E and Eve are flying through space together. It’s just a beautiful scene.
8. Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? Why?
I’d probably answer this differently tomorrow, but I’d have to go with R2-D2. This character can’t give any facial expressions, and only talks in beeps, yet they managed to give him so much personality and sass. He’s just an icon.
9. If you could talk to anyone from any era, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I think I’d go with Betty White. She was a part of TV history for so long and was an activist for several civil-rights movements. I would love to hear her talk about her life and career.