Interview with Screenwriter Patrick Norman (THE HIGHWAYMAN)

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

A deep and all-consuming romance set in eighteenth-century England between a highwayman and a landlord’s daughter tests their love, loyalty, and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Logline: He met her on life’s darkest road, and her soul became his moon.


Narrator: Hannah Ehman
Stansfield: Steve Rizzo
Caulfiend: Sean Ballantyne
Booth: Geoff Mays

Get to know the screenwriter:

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s an adventure, romance set in 18th century England about a lonely highwayman who happens upon a beautiful woman along the coast of Wales. After a couple close encounters, they connect and realize that they are one, and develop an unbreakable, intense soul connection. It’s a story about undying love and that special bond that rises to a twin flame or soulmate level. It’s a story about finally uniting with the one you were meant to be with, losing them, and realizing that you can’t live without them.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama / Romance

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

It’s a timeless story (based on the 1904 poem by Alfred Noyes) about our most basic and natural instinct. Love! An 18th Century “Romeo and Juliet” set in an exciting and adventurous period that most people could identify with and embrace. Someone once said, “A good story can broaden our minds: engage us – provoke – inspire and ultimately, connect us.” Imagine a story that brought people together and made you think about those people who are truly important to you. It’s a story that takes you out of your hum-drum everyday life and transports you to an exciting, magical time and place.

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

True love

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

Hmmm, the movie I’ve seen the most is probably, “The year of living dangerously” with Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson. It told a magical story about a bygone time and place and a couple who fell in love. It took you on a journey, an adventure and allowed you to see things, experience emotions that you might not normally come across.

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

I originally wrote this story towards the end of 2017. I finished probably 90% of it before I stuck it in a drawer. Then about 6 months ago I pulled it out and did my best to finish it. All in all, maybe 6 – 7 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have completed or taken to “fade out” 7 or 8 scripts, but probably have a couple dozen in the drawer that I just haven’t finished.

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

I love music and listen to everything from Dixieland Jazz to Punk. But, if I had to give you one song, I’d probably say “Emmanuel” by Chris Botti and Lucia Micarelli. It’s a haunting, hypnotic and spell binding song that I’ve listened to a thousand times.

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

I am easily distracted and have screwed off more than you can imagine. I struggle to stay focused and move forward and that is my one, true obstacle!

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

Chess, reading, sailing, spending time with my kids and family. I enjoy riding my bike, going to the gym, running around with my dogs and swimming in the nearby lake.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experience working with this submission site?

In general, it’s been a good. There have been a few hiccups, but overall, the experience has been good and I’ll continue to use them.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival?

What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received? This festival is about Love and Romance, so it was a perfect fit.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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