Brad Hodson dropped by my virtual office today for a quick Q and A over some tea and scones. Brad will be one of our Special Guests for the HWA Roundtable on Screenwriting, which kicks off on the 11th of February right here on the HWA’s blog.
Here’s the topic in full:
Screenwriting: How to get involved in the industry, the pitfalls and problems, the success stories. Screenwriting is a natural extension of story writing, but it is also a completely different art form. Let’s look at how it differs, and how difficult it is to create visual scenes for filming. And the end result; is it always how you viewed it would be? Are there any tips or suggestions you can offer for those just starting out, things you’ve learned along the way?
Special Guests: Michaelbrent Collings, Signe Olynyk, Matt Lohr, Brad Hodson, and Pen Densham.
Marty: Brad, what are you currently working on now?
Brad Hodson: Screenplay-wise, I’m working on a film inspired by the life of Harry Houdini. It’s slow going as I focus on another novel, but it is coming together nicely and I enjoy playing in the early twentieth century and seeing how magic, espionage, and undercover policing come together. I’ve got a few screenplays out there right now I’m waiting to hear about, and even more on my desktop I need to get out into circulation. The writing is fun and, for the most part, comes easy. It’s the business side of it all that usually leaves me flinging feces.
Not literally, of course. That would be another problem altogether.
Marty: Writers are often asked who inspired them when they were growing up. What about screenwriters? Are there legends of the industry who inspire new rising stars? Who inspired you?
Brad: I can’t imagine a screenwriter who, at some point, hasn’t been inspired by William Goldman. Goldman’s work is amazing but his books on screenwriting constitute a strong foundation of what most fledglings seem to know about the business. The scripts of the Coen Brothers gave me a strong push, too. They’re phenomenal directors but it’s their screenplays that really showcase their genius.
The indie boom of the nineties also gave me a nice push. Filmmakers like Tarantino, Rodriguez, Kevin Smith, all of the various Andersons – they not only wrote their own scripts but appeared in magazines and on talk shows (and, in some cases, even wrote books) on this wacky little enterprise. As a movie nerd, ahem, movie buff in high school during this boom it was a dream that seemed ever more achievable.
And, as a horror writer, I would be remiss not to mention William Peter Blatty. Blatty’s scripts for The Exorcist, The Exorcist III, and The Ninth Configuration are pure poetry. No one writes dialogue like that man. Watch George C. Scott discuss the carp in his bathtub and not be inspired. It’s impossible.
Marty: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing? (other than reading or watching movies!)
Brad: I’m an amateur powerlifter. I also have a few amateur MMA bouts under my belt. Staying active, especially in any way that allows me to pretend I’m a Viking, is a big part of my life. Though a newborn has put the brakes on that for a couple of months. Those baby things don’t like it when you sleep…
Cooking is a big hobby of mine. Travel, too. Those two things go together well. You head to a new place, try some amazing food you’ve never heard of before, and then spend the next six months trashing your kitchen trying to figure out how to reproduce it. And the best part is that even the failures are pretty tasty. Well, most of the time.
I’m also a big history geek. I probably spend as much time with my head in Ancient Rome as I do with it here in Los Angeles. Oddly enough, Ancient Rome smells a lot better on most days.
Originally from Knoxville, TN, Brad C. Hodson lives in Los Angeles. He’s written several award winning short films and has a few feature options out there. He co-wrote (and co-funded) the low budget horror comedy George: A Zombie Intervention and his first novel, Darling, was recently released from Bad Moon Books.
When not writing, he sneaks into your house and watches you sleep. It’s a little creepy. You might want to think about getting a dog.
Check out his work and musings on various topics over at www.brad-hodson.com.