Interview with Screenwriter Chris Harris, CHARACTERS

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s about an idyllic 20-year-old who leaves behind his country upbringing to become an “actor” at a low rent Florida theme park.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

This would definitely fall into the dark comedy category.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a tv show?

I don’t think there are many shows out there like “Characters.” Aside from the fact that the leads are all people of color and that it takes place in a raunchy theme park, through the dirty jokes and sassy quips, I try and examine real issues. At the end of the day, though, I feel like it’s just a fun show, with a unique voice, that’s dirty but has heart. I personally would love to see more shows like it.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Whimsically deplorable

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

I’m a nerd, so it’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

On and off for the last 6 months

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve honestly lost count. I’m always writing something, leaving it, and coming back to it. I’ve been writing stories since middle school and haven’t really slowed down since.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

It always fluctuates depending on my mood. It can range from classical, to rap, to rock, etc. While writing this tv pilot though, the song that was most inspiring to me was the theme to the Disney Spectromagic Parade. Again, I’m a nerd.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I think they were the same obstacles most writers face. The whole debate: Is it good enough? Is the story worth telling? Self-doubt is the true foil of any work, and there were times where I almost let it stop me. Also, I work full time as a nurse and have a family, so time constraints forced me to work at a much slower pace than I would have liked. All in all, though, I was able to work past these issues and finish a project that I am really proud of.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about travel. I love to hop all over the world and experience different cultures and see what things are like beyond my backyard. Also, I am very passionate about my family. I come from a very large family, and all these crazy people who share the same bloodline as me, have definitely influenced me as a writer. I like to try and spend time with them whenever I can. They drive me crazy and keep me grounded. It’s kind of the perfect relationship.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

FilmFreeway has been amazing! It makes searching for and entering competitions so easy. I would be lost without them.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I loved the fact that this festival was dedicated to comedic writing and had specific entry for TV Pilots. So many festivals are jumbled with screenplays and pilots together or drama and comedy together, etc. It was nice that this one was specific to what I wrote.

I found the feedback tremendously helpful. It opened my eyes to some of my pitfalls and helped solidify the things that came together well. It was instrumental to my rewrite and helped me write an even better pilot.

Genre: Comedy

After his New York acting dreams are sabotaged by his “evil stepmother,” Jason, a young 20s brown kid, is forced to take the only acting job available to him, becoming a prince in a sketchy Tampa theme park. In true Florida fashion, Jason learns “The Most Magicalest Place Ever,” delivers the best of Florida, from pedophiles and meth-heads, to sassy homosexuals with vendettas. Jason must learn to navigate these choppy waters if he wants to be an actor and survive as a Character.


Princess 1: Andrea Meister
Kangy Kangaroo: Rob Notman
Russell: Sean C. Dwyer
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Izzy: Charles Gordon
Jason: Jarod Terrell
Princess 2: Kerrie Lamb


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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