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Interviews: Daniel Kunka, Seth Lochhead, John Swetnam

Longtime blog readers who follow the Sunday roundup Screenwriting News may have noticed something intriguing about last week’s deals: Three writers, who I have interviewed, made headlines:

Daniel Kunka sells action drama spec script “Yellowstone Falls” to QED for a reported six figures against near seven-figures.

Seth Lochhead adapting comic series “Who is Jake Ellis?” for 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment.

John Swetnam writing and directing found footage dance drama “Breaking Through” for Get Lifted Film Company.

That means Hollywood is buying what they’re writing. So it would probably behoove you to learn more about their respective approaches to the creative and writing process which you can do by reading my interviews with them:

Daniel Kunka (June 2013)

Seth Locchead (October 2013)

John Swetnam (March 2011)

Congratulations to Daniel, Seth and John. Continued best of luck!

Questions for screenwriters roundtable

This Friday, I will be conducting a third annual roundtable with 6 top young Hollywood screenwriters: Chris Borrelli, F. Scott Frazier, Chris McCoy, Justin Rhodes, Greg Russo, and John Swetnam. Between them, they have sold over a dozen spec scripts, have multiple Black List scripts, and are involved with numerous film projects.

The 2011 roundtable is here.

The 2012 roundtable is here.

Do you know Michael Apted’s fantastic “7 Up” documentary series wherein he visits with the same group of 12 participants every 7 years? I see this in a similar light, a chance to see how this group of young screenwriters makes their way through life in Hollywood, observations they have, lessons they’ve learned. It’s great they take the time to do this and it’s proven to be a really popular series.

If you have questions you would like me to consider raising in the discussion with this group of talented writers, please post in comments.

Screenwriting 101: John Swetnam

screenplay“Story concept is like the foundation to a house. It has to be strong or everything else may come tumbling down. If you want to write ‘Hollywood’ movies, then the biggest question you have to ask yourself when you come up with an idea is, can you really see this opening at your local theater next weekend? I mean, really? What does the trailer look like when it comes on TV? You have to be brutally honest with yourself and most people just aren’t.”

– John Swetnam [GITS interview, March 1, 2011]

Spec Script Sale: “Spinback”

Lionsgate/Summit acquires action thriller spec script “Spinback” written by John Swetnam. From Deadline:

A soldier returns from Afghanistan. When his brother, a prominent DJ on the electronic dance music circuit, is murdered, he must infiltrate that world in order to figure out the killer.

I believe this is the third spec script sale by Swetnam whose name you may recall from the recent screenwriters roundtable.

By my count, this is the 8th spec script sale of 2013.

Last year at this time, there were 10 spec sales.

Congratulations, John. I run your screenwriters roundtable one week. You sell a script the next week. Coincidence? I think not!