1. What is your screenplay about?
“Going Native!” is a dark comedy about the genocide of 90% of the Taíno Indians in Puerto Rico by Christopher Columbus, aka America’s first douchebag.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Dark comedy, satire
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
I feel like this would make for a great show because there are years of horrific and hilarious events during this time period. It can sustain itself reasonably for a few seasons while never running out of true events to draw from. It’s also a story that feels timely as we continue to debate Columbus Day and statehood for Puerto Rico.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
My Cousin Vinny. Probably rewatch that every 4-6 months. It’s a tight script all around, and Marisa Tomei is at her best here.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
Considering a considerable amount had to be done (and is still being done), going from idea to current draft has taken a little over two years.
7. How many stories have you written?
What counts as a story? I have any number of unfinished scripts and plays that may or may not ever see the light of day. I’m currently in post production for a digital series of nine episodes that I wrote.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
That’s the sort of thing that depends on when and where I am. I have a summer playlist, driving playlist, summer driving playlist… regardless, every playlist has at least one Taylor Swift song.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
When people argue that keeping a Columbus statue up is “preserving history” while you’re literally writing about him being a genocidal monster… it can be distracting and really makes your blood boil.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
My wife says I should say it’s her, and that’s definitely true. But also, she and I are both avid gamers. I’m a sucker for narrative in all forms and happily consume story rich games (shoutout to PlayStation Studios).
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
So far, so good. I had one issue where a festival would not notify me for many weeks after the deadline, and FF kindly reached out to them on my behalf.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
Sometimes you just get a good vibe reading from festival descriptions, and it definitely rang true in this case. I was very happy with my feedback, which was comprehensive, personable, and very kind.
Watch the Screenplay Reading:
Going Native! is a satire following a group of Taínos (indigenous Puerto Ricans) whose lives are forever changed when introduced to America’s first douchebag – Christopher Columbus.
Narrator: Hannah Ehman
Christopher Columbus: Sean Ballantyne
Craig: Steve Rizzo