Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Daren Haskins

Chicago Screenplay Awards Questionnaire

By Chicago Screenplay Awards Dept.


 1) My name is Daren Haskins and I was born in Los Angeles, CA, but I now reside in Las Vegas, NV. The hobbies I enjoy include playing baseball and tennis, exercising, going to the movies, creative writing, traveling, listening to music, and hanging out with family and

2) I came up with the concept of the screenplay while at home during the lockdown of 2020. I thought it would be fun to create a comedy horror for politicians the way they do with us daily. Also, I wanted to make it simple enough to film on a decent budget. It took me about a week to finish from idea to first draft then minor edits as time went on.

3) My writing process was mostly in my head. Usually for short scripts around 10 pages or less I don’t outline much on paper like I would for a feature. I have the location(s) in mind and what I want to happen overall and from there I try to let the dialogue come naturally as I write. Once I’m done I’ll go over it then give it a few days to let the mind settle and go back to see if anything needs to change.

4) I knew I wanted to become a screenwriter when I was 26 after realizing I’m not getting any younger, and I need to focus on improving my passion and skill for creating entertaining stories.

5) Horror movies have always been fun to watch, but I would say most of my influence came from comedy actors/shows such as In Living Color, Mad TV , SNL, and The Chappelle Show. Growing up I became a big fan of Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle, The Wayans family, and Eddie Murphy because I originally thought I wanted to enter the business as an actor. After attending film school and learning how to write screenplays I shifted my focus and saw it as a more realistic long term goal.

6) There’s so many great shows and movies I’ve really enjoyed, but I watched Entourage on repeat throughout the years. Great comedy fun with the cast, storylines, and cameos.

7) My favorite moment in cinema history would be the intro to Saving Private Ryan. So intense, so emotional, and action packed.

8) My favorite characters in cinema history are Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura, Robert Deniro and Joe Pesci as mobsters, Johnny Depp and his many amazing characters, but most inspiring would be Mel Gibson’s William Wallace in Braveheart.

9) If I could talk to anyone from any era it would be any of the big time mobsters recreated for film and ask if they got their stories right. 

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