Interview with Screenwriter Christina Brandon-Gómez (HOODZ)

1. What is your screenplay about?

I wrote Hoodz trying to answer the question: If we had the chance to do it all again, would humans learn from the past or make the same mistakes? Would we make different decisions but still find the same outcomes? What if centuries of hate and prejudice died out? Hoodz follows the journeys of a group of teens trying to survive in a world without adults after a global pandemic kills more than half the Earth’s population. It’s evolution all over again as youth take a crash course in science, medicine, agriculture, geography, and government.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Hoodz is a coming-of-age science-fiction drama. As the story unfolds, flashes of thriller and adventure weave through the overall series arc.

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

I would love to see Hoodz on big screens and small screens everywhere because I want to challenge people to question the status quo. Visually, seeing a world without adults, with technology at our fingertips but just out of reach, where the progress of medicine suddenly feels like science-fiction, Hoodz is an alternate reality and yet a real possibility that could be a jolt to our social conscience.

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

Bittersweet. Inspirational.

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

This is a tough one. Contrary to my writing style, I watch some version of Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre every year, but most relevant to the kinds of stories I write would definitely be Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings (also annual staples in my household).

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

Hoodz began as a book called Young Earth when I was in high school; then, I switched gears in college to try it as a screenplay. After college, I let this story sit on the backburner, unsure what to do with it until 2019 when I committed to pursuing my writing again.

7. How many stories have you written?

Countless. As an eternal reviser, few of my stories ever make it beyond my notebooks or laptop, but I filmed one of my short films, Small and Mighty, in 2019-2020 and have a second short film script, Lemonade, that are circulating short film and screenwriting competitions.

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

You will learn quickly that I am the worst at picking one of anything. So many. I love nearly anything by Adele, “Don’t You Remember” is probably the one I’ve listened to the most. “Death by Chocolate” by Sia. “Like a Stone” by Audioslave. “Try a Little Tenderness,” the Otis Redding version. “Sueños Rotos” by La 5a Estación. “Lithium” by Evanescence. “No Me Doy por Vencido” by Luis Fonsi. Stopping now…this list will go on forever.

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

Well, I am a mother of two active gymnasts, and I work full-time, so just carving out time after everyone else has gone to sleep or before they woke up was a challenge, especially when I was usually exhausted. Nevertheless, even if it’s just for a few minutes, I would try to jot down any lingering ideas before I could forget them. Hoodz was written on the back of envelopes, through text messages to myself, on my kids’ whiteboards, in notebooks, and, when I was lucky, on my computer.

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

While I may not be the greatest at it (my chef husband surpasses me), I love cooking and baking, and enjoy creating or personalizing recipes with my daughters.

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

I enjoy FilmFreeway. It makes communication easy and seems very transparent as far as what to expect from various festivals and competitions.

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

I entered this festival because I am eager for constructive feedback and honest impressions of my story and characters. I want to improve my writing and finetune my style so that my work is marketable without losing what makes it a representation of me and what I want to see on the screen. Not all festivals are designed around providing feedback and that is what I found most exciting about the feedback competition. I felt the feedback I received was thoughtful and delivered with the intention to help not just criticize.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Two years after a deadly virus wipes out the adult population of the Earth, the remaining youth fight each other and the airborne assassin as they struggle to survive in a lawless world. Can secretive loner Ravyn and a hodgepodge group of teens overcome mistrust of each other to uncover the biggest secret of all: the cure?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Steve Rizzo
Ravyn: Val Cole
Teenage Girl: Allison Kampf

By matthewtoffolo

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

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