The Last Bookstore
GRAND PRIZE WINNERS
Colette Freedman and Brooke Purdy
of Burbank, CA
The Last Bookstore
BROOKE PURDY has
written and directed for companies including Def Comedy Jam
and Def Pictures, HBO and Showtime. An NYU film school
graduate, Brooke has several produced shorts including her
award winning 'Against the Wind' which won a lot of
festivals but didn't manage to put a dent in her student
loans. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as a
copywriter in radio for fifteen years spearheading campaigns
like Pepsi, AT & T, KFC, and Campbe's Soup. She has optioned
several screenplays which allowed her to buy a house in
Burbank where, to keep the budget in check, a great deal of
Quality Problems, which she wrote and directed, was shot. A
successful playwright, Brooke's plays Blitzkrieg and Plunge
both had sell out runs in Los Angeles. Brooke wrote a
television pilot for Jamie Kennedy and sold it to Universal
T.V. She used the money on gum and hair products. She also
won €Hollywood's Next Success Screenwriting Contest€¯ with a
Gilmore Girls spec she wrote. She still has the mug. In her
almost nonexistent spare time, she has taught swing dancing,
boot camp, driven in a demolition derby, married her best
friend Doug and had two kids Max, 13 and Scout, 9 whom she
loves even more than cheese and Toasted Almond Good Humor
Bars. One day she hopes to sleep until 10:30a.m.
An internationally produced playwright with over 25 produced
plays, Colette was voted 'One of 50 to Watch'¯ by The
Dramatist's Guild. Her play Sister Cities was the hit of the
2008 Edinburgh Fringe and earned five star reviews: It has
been produced around the country and internationally,
fifteen times including Paris (Une Ville, Une Soeur), Rome
(Le Quattro Sorelle) and Australia. She also wrote the novel
and the film which stars Jacki Weaver, Alfred Molina, Jess
Weixler, Stana Katic, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amy Smart,
Troian Bellisario, Tom Everett Scott and Kathy Baker. Her
hit musical Serial Killer Barbie played to sold out crowds
for six months in Los Angeles and New Zealand. She has
co-written, with International bestselling novelist Jackie
Collins, the play Jackie Collins Hollywood Lies, which is
gearing up for a National Tour. In collaboration with The
New York Times best selling author Michael Scott, she
wrote the thriller The Thirteen Hallows (Tor/Macmillan). Her
novel The Affair (Kensington) came out January 29, 2013. The
play of the novel earned both critical and commercial
success as it toured Italy February through May 2013. Her
sequel novel The Consequences (Kensington) came out January
28, 2014. Her YA novel Anomalies (Select Books) came out
February 9, 2016. She also co-wrote the film "And Then There
Was Eve" which just WON THE JURY PRIZE at its world premiere
at LA Film Festival (June 18, 2017).
When the technological age has brought humanity to its brink, it is, ultimately five kids, their love and a book that can save mankind.
I knew I wanted to be screenwriter...
Brooke Purdy: I have been writing since middle school. Books and writing were my favorite escapes. I had amazing teachers and encouragement along the way. I entered NYU Tisch in their dramatic writing program in 1989. There, I began with stories and plays. I studied with Dick Beebe there and he was remarkably cinematic. He first encouraged me to expand my work into screenplays. I never looked back and transferred to the Film & Television Directing Program there the next year. Later, when marriage, kids and life had me somewhat creatively "stalled," I went to Kristen Hanngi who helped get me "unstuck".
Colette Freedman: When I was a little kid and wrote commercials for my brother and cousins to star in and made my parents laugh.
I know I've succeeded...
Brooke Purdy: When I moved someone with my writing. Once I got that first "Oh!" or first laugh out loud, that- "I loved this or that"... I was hooked. It was the impetus to keep going- knowing that I could spin a story that would move someone else.
Colette Freedman: In fifth grade I wrote the school play "An Archie Bunker Thanksgiving" and as soon as I got my first laugh from a stranger, I was hooked.
My inspiration to write "The Last Bookstore"...
Brooke Purdy: My 12 year old son Max, an avid reader, asked me to write a movie for him. Something that he would want to see. He has pretty sophisticated tastes but is also in this odd "tween" grouping where movies for his demographic are either too gory or too young. He was my constant reference throughout the writing.
Dystopian stories. Brooke.
Interview Part 2.
FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?
As I said reading
and writing stories were my first "escapes". Since then it
has always been about the autonomy of writing- it was
something I could do independently of anyone's "permission".
The stories move me and the characters within compelling me
to see it through.
God no. Have
many. Some of which will NEVER see the light of day.
"Believe in the power of a crappy 1st draft".
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
I didn't really
prepare- I just dove in at the behest of some great mentors.
When I wrote a story and had someone say "This would make a
great screenplay"- I just dove in.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
No. For me it's
just being able to "roll" with it. Now that I am a parent,
working mom and business owner- it is sometimes in fits of
30 minute blasts between pick ups and after school
activities. You find a way to fit it in.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?
Brooke Purdy & Colette Freedman: YES. It's a great
gauge to see if your story has the basics to inspire/move
others. Beyond that I love the notes you get from
professionals, the exposure you wouldn't otherwise get and
the boost ALL writers need that their vision touches others.
Brooke Purdy & Colette Freedman: Their track record and connection to outside industry. They have been doing this for quite a while- so we knew if we could get their attention- we were on to something.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Brooke Purdy & Colette Freedman:
There are the
classics like : Robert Towne's "Chinatown" and Paul
Schrader's "Taxi Driver" but mostly read something that has
been successful in a similar genre to your script. The main
thing is, read scripts. You can learn a lot about your own
style and substance by reading other screenwriters.
husband, kids and our home, directing, acting, producing,
creating stories that MOVE people. Raising KIND people.
Promoting and fighting for equality and volunteering on
whatever level I can. Oh, and cheese.
I have so many
but some of my favorites: Tarantino- for his insane
dialogue. Callie Khouri- for making "Thelma & Louise" which
will remain one of the greatest feminist scripts ever.
Lately- I am loving John Carney for all his scripts but
especially "Begin Again" and "Sing Street" - simply sublime
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Niki Caro, Cat
Candler, Patti Jenkins, Jon Favreau, Martin Scorcese
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
husband, Doug Purdy?) Gary Oldman, Gal Gadot, Sam Rockwell,
Cate Blanchett, Jenifer Lawrence, Ben Kingsley, Patricia
Clarkson, Helen Mirren (AND all of Colette's below!)
WRITE WHAT YOU
KNOW. Make sure your dialogue sounds like REAL PEOPLE talk.
If it sounds stilted when you read it- it's false.
Brooke Purdy & Colette Freedman: We are currently on the festival circuit with our film "Quality Problems" a comedy about cancer which Brooke wrote and co-directed with her husband and Colette co-produced. Once we get distribution for that we will be writing a script we are going to shoot in San Antonio next year. Meanwhile, we are finishing the YA BOOK of "The Last Bookstore". We just want to keep going and creating great stories.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
Brooke Purdy & Colette Freedman: Working on the post production for film two of our "The Last Bookstore" trilogy.
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