Interview with Screenwriter Shane Walsh-Smith (Farscape “Legacy”)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Legacy is a spec script for the cult TV show Farscape (1999-2005), a show that follows astronaut John Crichton and his wacky misadventures through love and war in a distant part of the galaxy.

This script, at its core, is about the (mostly bad) legacy that we leave behind for our children.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-fi/Space opera.

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

Although this script will never be made (sadly, I don’t own the Farscape IP), I get unbelievably excited every time the rumours of a Farscape revival resurface.

I’d sell my mivonks to be part of that writers’ room.

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

Parental anguish.

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

Another Aussie classic, The Castle.

More genre-appropriately, though, the Farscape Peacekeeper Wars miniseries is definitely high on the list.

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

This one came together frighteningly quickly, written in September and October of 2020.

7. How many stories have you written?

I spent most of the last fifteen years as a graphic novelist, and published ten long-form graphic novels across a fairly broad spectrum of genre. I’ve written seven or eight scripts in the last couple of years, including some original pieces and a few TV specs.

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

Tricky question, and so many viable contenders! Edging out the others, partly because the war-torn sci-fi angle is somewhat broadly in line with Farscape, I’m going to go with Save Yourself and I’ll Hold Them Back, by My Chemical Romance.

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

Most of the obstacles were in my own head. I spent a couple of weeks sinking deep, deep down into the lore of the show, trying to work from memory, and get every little detail right. My wife (correctly) pointed out to me that I was possibly caring a little too much (more than anyone who read the script ever would), and this exchange got me moving on the script itself.

I’ve been a fan of Farscape since I was fourteen. Writing the characters and their situations was surprisingly easy – easier than pretty much anything else I’ve written to date, actually.

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

Apart from writing? Only my family: my incredible wife of twelve years, Katie, and our four amazing children, Annie, Liam, Nella and Molly.

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

I have a complicated relationship with FilmFreeway. I love the convenience of having information centrally available, and how easy it is to locate festivals and competitions. The homogenous layout for each event makes it really easy for writers to find key dates, prices, and eligibility rules, as well as tracking updates for submissions.

At the same time, however, the ease of the platform also contributes to it being quite addictive and, if a writer like me gets a rush of blood to the head, it can be worryingly easy to spend a small fortune on competitions in a very short amount of time.

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

I had a great experience with this festival earlier in the year with my BoJack Horseman spec script, which also won.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Half a cycle (six months) after the events of ‘The Peacekeeper Wars’ miniseries, the Ancients return to Moya, bringing with them a whole host of problems for Crichton and his new family.

Aeryn: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Chiana: Val Cole

By matthewtoffolo

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

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