Interview with Screenwriter Alberto “Mojo” Peña (Peaky Blinders: “Good Friday”)

What is your screenplay about?

During the Great Depression in England, Thomas Shelby is battling with delusions of his late wife and has to save his family and business from the grasps of enemy Michael Gray, who threatens to take both. Seeing this as the opportune moment to strike, Michael & Gina Gray make a play at persuading Arthur, Polly, and Finn Shelby to join them and their company, leaving Tommy, as he can no longer provide for them.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Crime/Drama

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

If copyright permitted, it would be an interesting take on Peaky Blinders than what we’re used to, but still has the taste everybody loves about the show.

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

Tommy Resurrecting

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

Austin Powers is Goldmember. It’s actually how I got the nickname “Mojo”. I watched the movie soooo much in my mom’s car on the way to school, that I recited the lines at recess to make friends laugh, so they donned me Mojo.

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

From September 2020 to December 2020.

7. How many stories have you written?

Countless. More than 100. I’ve written stories since before I knew they could be considered “stories” in my notes. They’d be germs of ideas that have the potential for me to expand on them one day.

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

I’ve definitely listened to Golden Slumbers by The Beatles the most in my life. It’s so short (1:30 min) that I have to repeat it at least 5 times to feel satisfied.

My favorite song has to be Imagine by John Lennon. It’s a song I can listen to anywhere, anytime and it inspires me to push for a better world…or at least imagine one.

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

I had to sort of take the magic out of Peaky Blinders, a show I really enjoy, because I had to study every detail of the characters, their dialogue, the world, etc. so I could mirror that in my spec. I wanted to capture the show’s nuances but tell the story in my voice and arrange the characters/stakes how I wanted like a chess board.

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

I have a strong passion for filmmaking. Since I was in high school and met one of my best friends, Shan Karemani, I’ve made short films and had to wear every hat on set. Stepping into the shoes of a director, actor, producer, gaffer, script supervisor, 1st AD, location scout, costume designer, editor, and several other roles, it’s only made me a better overall filmmaker, appreciating how all these individual positions can come together and make a single piece of art.

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

It’s been pretty straightforward and simple. It’s a relief that so many contests and competitions are basically on one website. It’s nice to have an “industry standard,” if you will.

I couldn’t imagine having to go through hundreds of other websites to find and apply to contests to get my work noticed.

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

One of my other best friends and colleagues, Jacobo Fe Gismera (a tremendous Screenwriter), sent me the contest link and said I could make great use of my spec. He was spot on!

I loved the feedback I got because it felt professional and it was obvious that the person giving feedback read every word of my script. It’s one of those feelings that not many people can relate to when someone reads your work, likes it, and gives you tips on how to make it better. Or at least opens your eyes to how they interpreted your script.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Tommy Shelby is missing, Shelby Limited is financially broke and Michael has teamed with the Billy Boys to take over and absorb the Peaky Blinders gang.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Steve Rizzo
Jimmy: Geoff Mays
Michael: Sean Ballantyne

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s