Sunday, July 30, 2006

Interview with Ian Pilgrim

Ian Pilgrim is a 22 year old writer from the UK, who has written a number of screenplays and novels. One of his screenplays has already attracted interest from the film industry and his first novel is now for sale online as an ebook or print edition. I spoke to Ian about his writing:

Darren: How did you become interested in writing, and what have you written so far?

became interested in writing when I saw an advert for BBC Talent back in 2001. They were advertising for comedy shows as part of their new talent search. I decided to write my own and see how I went.

I've written loads so far. I started out writing screenplays. I wrote a crappy horror film called Gore and a sci-fi adventure film called Trader. That was back in 2001/02.

In 2003 I lost my confidence and didn't write anything at all throughout the year. In 2004 I wrote a TV script called The Hunter about a vigilante hunting down rich playboys. It got rejected many times.

In 2005 I started on Fade To Black my spy thriller script as well as Extermination - an Alien rip off and finally Dead Space zombie horror film.

In October 2005 my dad spotted some novel writing software in a catalogue and asked if it would be helpful. I said yes and I brought it and since then I've started writing books.

My first was The Hunter which was based on my earlier screenplay and then I wrote Venom in Feb 2006.

What was the software that your Dad found (and I assume you find it useful?)?

Novel Writer Professional. It's very, very useful.

Darren: So,
how long did it take you to write the book?

It took me three months in total. I could have done it in a month but halfway through I lost my confidence and gave up for many weeks before finally going back to it.

How long does it usually take you to write a screenplay?

It used to take me a month but now it takes less than a week. I plan the script for 2 days and then spend four days writing it doing about 22-27 pages a day.

When you spend your 2 days preparation on a screenplay, what do you do? Do you map out the plot? If so, how?

I write out the entire plot and dialogue. It's like a brief summary of what happens where and who says what. It's usually 7 - 12 pages long.

For example; Fade To Black

'James walks through the room, machine gun cocked and ready. He comes cross another door and opens it slowly. He peers round. No sign off any trouble. He enters. The corridor goes left and right. He turns right. He sees a sign pointing to the bridge he dashes over but stops. Something doesn't feel right. He glances at the floor to see a collection of C4 explosives. He walks slowly towards them. They're armed. He shoots the fire extinguisher and the smoke reveal two laser beam. He rolls under the first, and bends down through the second. Then heads up the stairs to the bridge. James comes in. Bodies of the crew everywhere. James across the control panels. He studies them. Then checks the computers. Destination was Antarctica, new direction Russia. He looks out the window to see more helicopter unloading troops onto the ship. James gets on his radio. I'm at the bridge. Good work says Lesnar. What's the destination? It seems the ship was heading towards Antarctica but it's been change to Russia.'

I usually get an idea/scene for a movie and I write it down and then build on it by asking myself questions. If What Why Where and When.

I find it quite difficult. It's the hardest part of writing the screenplay.

Darren: What advice would you give someone who wants to write a novel or screenplay?

Don't give up! I've been writing for 5 years now and I haven't sold a darn thing. But I've kept at it and kept writing even when I felt the whole world was against me.

What things would you like to write in the future?

I would love to write Spy novels. I have so many ideas for them.

Venom, By Ian Pilgrim

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