Interview with Screenwriter T. R. Schumer (OPPOSITION RESEARCH)

1. What is your screenplay about?

What can happen when the smart kid trips up, and his youthful exuberance is weaponized.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense-Thriller and Crime.

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

It’s the sort of high-intensity thriller that audiences consistently enjoy. With the added benefit of being reflective of an atmosphere of political chaos that we’ve all been forced to live under. But, at least in this story, the nice guy wins in the end. In that respect I feel it’s encouraging.

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

Intentionally provocative.

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

As a kid I worked at a drive-in theater, and at that time Steven Spielberg’s E.T. was in a long over-run, as a result, I think I’ve seen it, (or heard the lines) some 300 times. The manager always had a loudspeaker playing the soundtrack in the snack bar, so patrons wouldn’t miss anything when they went for popcorn. To this day there are movies that, after hearing one small snippet of of out-of-context dialogue, I can identify the film instantly. Sorry… totally dating myself😂 (Also worked in a video store)

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

One year.

7. How many stories have you written?

In my mind I’ve written thousands, but only a select few make it into the real world. So far I’ve written five novels, a number of short stories, a stage play, several screenplays… I just completed my first drama podcast script, which was a new challenge. I’m currently working on an adaptation of one of my novels, and I have a new feature spec in the preliminary stages. Lots of ideas, limited time.

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

If I hear Don McLean’s American Pie, the lyrics will stick in my head for weeks. As for a favorite? I’ve pondered the choice I would make if, in the event of a massive meteor unavoidably on a path to Earth, and after seeing this huge flaming beast heading straight for me, I grab my phone, have just enough time to select the one final song I will go out with. It’s interesting to think about what that choice would be.

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

That I totally suck as a writer and that I am ultimately unworthy. I suffer from terrible imposter syndrome. The only way I finish is by shear brute force: get out of bed, sit my ass down, get to work, day in, day out, without exception, it’s really the only way.

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

I’ve always loved horses. My professional writing career began when an article I wrote was accepted and published by Western Horseman magazine. This began a years long run as a freelance journalist in the horse industry. I’ve written dozens of features for W.H., Quarter Horse Journal, and the N.R.H.A. Reiner magazine. This morphed into a major undertaking when I became the editor and publisher of my own online magazine: High Minded Horseman.

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

It’s great. The opportunities that platforms like FilmFreeway present to novice screenwriters writers like myself are remarkable, and I am extremely grateful.

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

It felt like a good fit for the work I was submitting. It’s always an anxious moment when the notes come back. When the Thriller Festival notes came back I was stunned into shock, because they were so positive… positive notes are an extreme rarity.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

When a brilliant young law grad with a talent for speed-reading takes a well paid gig scraping bulk data for dirt on a rival political candidate, his idealistic naiveté and misplaced loyalty land him in the crosshairs of powerful enemies, the FBI, and his murderous boss.

Narrator: Geoff Mays
Dillan: Allan Michael Brunet
John: Shawn Devlin

Writer Biography:

Tracy Schumer is a former freelance journalist, the author of five novels, a licensed pilot and a blue-water sailor. She has completed two global circumnavigations and traveled to 109 countries. She currently resides in Switzerland. To date she’s garnered 17 finalist awards and accolades, view her complete awards list here:

By matthewtoffolo

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

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