I knew I wanted to be screenwriter........
after I did my first play. The play wasn’t received well.
Tomatoes and eggs were hurled at us but the experience
satisfied me like nothing else before..
I know I've succeeded when........
I finish the first draft of each script. It means I have
wrestled with my inner critic and survived.
inspiration to write HIDDEN.....
I wanted to explore the nightmare of never being able to
forget traumatic incidents from the past. If memories make
you relive the horrible moments forever, healing and growth
could become impossible.
inspired you to write?
I got into writing by accident. I got involved in theater to
fill in for a friend. But, the experience was unlike
anything I felt before and I couldn’t stop after that.
Writing makes me curious and enthusiastic about anything and
everything. Now, writing inspires me to write.
FilmMakers Magazine: How did you prepare
yourself to write your first script?
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script
and how long did it take you to complete?
Shivakumar Ramanathan: This was my first screenplay.
I started on it several years ago but didn’t like where I
was going. I kept the script aside, worked on other projects
and started on the re-writes a year ago.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set
routine, place and time management for writing?
during the weekends and an hour a day during the weekdays.
There is no set place. I have written in parking lots,
coffee shops and home. I strive to be organized but
unfortunately sometimes days pass when nothing worthwhile is
written. Then, there is that one day when everything falls
into place. I am trying to figure out how to have more of
that “one day”.
Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are
important for aspiring screenwriters and why?
Reputed contests provide credibility to the project in the
eyes of professionals. I write because I have to. But, when
a script is recognized by a contest it is an energy shot to
Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers
International Screenwriting Awards
/ Screenplay Contest?
Shivakumar Ramanathan: Filmmakers has a great
reputation and provides the opportunity for management and
production companies to view our work. The script has a much
better chance when recommended by a contest like Filmmakers.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you
urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Shivakumar Ramanathan: Any script in genres and
themes that interests the writers. I love Seven and Signs.
The first 30 pages of The Disciple Program was a lesson in
how to open a thriller.
Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate
about and why?
Shivakumar Ramanathan: Cameras. I am amazed by how
these devices capture moments – real and made up. I gush
every time a new camera comes to market or when I look at my
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite
Screenwriter and Why?
Shivakumar Ramanathan: Christopher Nolan. He executes
complex and sometimes offbeat ideas in a way that intrigues
people across cultures, ages and gender.
Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with
Shivakumar Ramanathan: Steven Spielberg. Raiders of
the Lost Ark, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. My
movie experience is defined by how I felt when I watched
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and
Shivakumar Ramanathan: Denzel Washington. The scene
in Flight where he breaks down in the end was amazing.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along
the way to pass on to others?
Shivakumar Ramanathan: Several professionals have
said this - the craft of writing is honed with practice.
Very true. I can see it in every new script and every draft
of my scripts. It is a continuous learning experience with
every project. It also helps to film your script. When
actors say the lines, it makes me see what works and what
doesn’t. And this helps me with writing.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Shivakumar Ramanathan: I am in post production on a
short thriller. I start a new script after that and
hopefully find sparks that make my current projects better.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years
Shivakumar Ramanathan: Hidden will come alive on
screen and I would have filmed another passion project, The
Unseen. I will also be exploring, living and writing new