Interview with Screenwriter Lee Lawson (DOG #9)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Lee Lawson: The story of Chuck is about overcoming adversity and the challenges that life throws at you. Chuck himself, has to overcome the fear and doubts brought on by his loss of his sense of smell, and learn that he has other skills and values to bring to the world, along with the skills of his friends.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Family animation / Comedy.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It has a strong message about acceptance of diversity and disability that children will respond to positively, a message that you are more than your weaknesses.

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

Heartfelt and funny.

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

Cars. But my son is 3-years-old and is as much a fan of Pixar as I am.

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

One year.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have completed several feature screenplays, two TV pilots and several short scripts.

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

I’m not sure I have a favorite song, as music is created all of the time and joins our world.

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

Ensuring that the story works as a means of transporting my emotional reaction to the themes to the audience. And making it funny.

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

My family. Filmmaking.

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

It’s great. Easy to use and tracks your submissions for you. Would be good if they had their own accumulated scoring system like Coverfly so you know how you stack up against other screenplays.

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

The draft entered into this festival was an early draft, maybe revision two or three. I needed to know if it was emotionally resonating with the readers, so entered it to see how it would do before I improved it in later drafts. The feedback I received was valuable to the continuing evolution of the story.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Logline: A scent-blind search and rescue recruit puppy learns that his disability doesn’t define him when he must lead the effort to find survivors trapped under an avalanche.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Jagger: Shawn Devlin
Chuck: Chris O’Bray

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