I knew I wanted to be screenwriter when........
became obsessed with reading everything I could to learn
about screenwriting. I enjoyed reading about everything from
formatting, development of characters and learning how to
write for a visual medium such as film.
I know I've succeeded when........
I see that a script reader actually "gets" the message that
I intended to deliver. Also, I feel a sense of
accomplishment to hear that someone who has read my script
tells me that they would love to see it as a movie.
inspiration to write In-Between.....
came from a desire to share a story about the courage,
strength, perseverance and acceptance of a teen who faces
diversity in the form of a physical challenge. She faces
biases but overcomes them and learns to accept herself as
others also do.
inspired you to write?
Sandra Webb Smith: Initially, helping others to edit
their own writing inspired me to write. I came across a
notice for a screenplay competition and was intrigued, so I
entered and made it through the first round. I believe that
helped motivate me to move forward.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script
and how long did it take you to complete?
Sandra Webb Smith: In-Between is my second feature
script, and I spent about six months on the first draft.
After getting feedback, I took some comments to heart and
edited the story which took a couple more months.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set
routine, place and time management for writing?
Sandra Webb Smith: I don't have a rigid
routine, but I try to find some quiet time everyday to
write, plan or think about what I'm working on. I'm a
night-owl and I usually feel more creative in the evening. I
have a small office at home where I usually work.
Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are
important for aspiring screenwriters and why?
Sandra Webb Smith: Entering contests was a starting
point for me as I was so new to writing, and I hoped to get
some exposure as well as encouragement.
Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers
International Screenwriting Awards
/ Screenplay Contest?
Sandra Webb Smith: Filmmakers International
Screenwriting Awards gives aspiring writers more chances for
exposure of their scripts. It has a solid reputation as I
learned from reading the positive feedback from previous
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you
urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Sandra Webb Smith:
thoroughly enjoyed reading "Bridesmaids" by Annie Mumolo and
Kristen Wiig. It flows so well and is very entertaining. I
had already seen the movie and compared it to the script,
which was noticeably different in places.
Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate
about and why?
Sandra Webb Smith: I'm passionate about family,
friends and my dogs. Making the world a safer place and
treating all people with respect is important to me.
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite
Screenwriter and Why?
Sandra Webb Smith: Chris Terrio is my favorite
screenwriter. He wrote Argo which is one of my favorite
movies. I also read the script and was intrigued by his
style. I later watched a video interview and was inspired by
his humble manner, even though he is immensely talented.
Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with
Sandra Webb Smith: Steven Spielberg would be my
choice of a director to work with as he's one of the very
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and
Sandra Webb Smith: Sandra Bullock has always been a
favorite actress and she seems to be very down-to-earth. She
could likely play any type of part in most any genre and
would also be fun to work with.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things
learned along the way to pass on to others?
Sandra Webb Smith: Getting feedback is important to
me whether it's from a professional or a well-read friend. I
have used both and found both to be helpful. Everyone has
different comments and questions, and it helps to see the
story from their perspective, even though the writer may
choose to keep their original story line. Also, I have found
the internet is full of free screenwriting articles on just
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Sandra Webb Smith: I'm currently working on another
feature drama as well as a TV drama pilot. As these are such
different mediums, I feel I must choose only one for now on
which to focus.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years
Sandra Webb Smith: Hopefully, I will have an agent
and five or so scripts completed. I would, of course, be
thrilled to see any of my work produced!