Interview with Screenwriter Philip Naiman (BATMAN: RESURRECTION)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Basically, this is Bruce Wayne’s story. He’s older now and he still loves his city. But when he can no longer protect it, he must find a way to resurrect a legend.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action, drama, superheroes.

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

It’s a new take. Bruce Wayne has no superpowers yet Batman has endured. And sooner or later Bruce has to get old. This story allows for the next stage and maintains the legacy that is Batman.

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

I think the title says it all, but it could be described as “fun” yet “deep” or “a new beginning”.

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

I will watch movies over and over when I truly enjoy them but the one I have probably watched the most is THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY. Clint Eastwood is my favorite.

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

I started this screenplay in May when I read about the Fan Fiction festival. I wrote it in a month and submitted it, got feedback, re-wrote, re-submitted, got new feedback, re-wrote it, re-submitted it and now here we are.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have completed 6. This one. One about a gambler who tries to payoff his brother’s debt while looking after an orphaned niece. One about a fellow who, after he is struck by lightning, needs the help of his guardian angel to ensure his family’s well-being. One about twin hockey players who switch places when the superstar is injured. One about an ex-CSIS agent who gets got in the middle of an RCMP investigation and a terrorist plot to assassinate Canada’s separatist leader – you might remember that one. And an animated short about a house cat who, with the help of the next-door neighbor dog try to keep the family’s new rescue dog from being sent back to the shelter.

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

The late Harry Chapin’s Mr. Tanner is a song that I always replay. It’s about a dry cleaner in the mid-west who also sings. He’s convinced to go professional but his music debut is panned by the critics. He comes home and never again sings in public, only to himself. “Music was his life, it was not his livelyhood. He did not know how well he sang, it just made him whole.” A beautiful tune and like all Harry Chapin songs, a great story.

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

As far as physically writing the screenplay there were no issues. As for the actual story, a needed to come up with a villain that would not be the centre of the story but would bring the story together. I had to look it up but the Black Mask was that villain. He has written up in the later Batman comics and graphic novels. He had a connection to Bruce Wayne, Batman and Catwoman. He was perfect.

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

I have my children and grandchildren so that’s number one. I play piano, but only for myself. I do still enjoy playing hockey.

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

FilmFreeway makes entering a competition easy. It offers a vehicle to explore different competitions and it keeps track of your successes. That’s how found Fan Fiction.

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

When I started learning to write screenplays the thought of a Batman, superhero screenplay intrigued me but writing gurus, web-sites, books, all tell newbies to not write a spec based on an existing franchise – trade mark and copyright issues will discourage the powers to be from even considering such work. This festival gave me the “what if” opportunity. I saw this festival as a chance to actually write “the” screenplay. The end product is a movie that I would want to go watch.

This festival and Wildsound in general, offers a great way of getting feedback from professionals without charging an arm and a leg. I have found the feedback to be encouraging and helpful. You don’t have to always agree with it but there is always a gem that you can use. The table read allows you to see how actors interpret what you have written. Even if you don’t care for the performance, it makes you go back to your script and evaluate it Was it the way you wrote it or did the actor just not get it? So that’s feedback in itself.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

It’s been 15 years since Gotham City last saw the Caped Crusader but with gangs threatening to take over it’s up to 65 year old Bruce Wayne to save the city.

Narration: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
BRUCE WAYNE: Allan Michael Brunet
BLUE MASK: Geoff Mays
ROMAN: Steve Rizzo


By matthewtoffolo

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

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