I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
when I began drafting a short screenplay about
two brothers who fight over a winning lottery-ticket. For whatever reason, I
enjoyed constructing narrative through dialog.
I know I've succeeded........
when I see the words “written by Steven
Martinez” on the silver-screen.
My inspiration to write PHOENIX RISING.......
came from an early infatuation with
comic-books in my youth. The idea of creating a super-hero group is a kind of
wish-fulfillment which allowed my imagination to run wild.
What inspired you to write?
Steven Martinez: My love of literature, and a need for focused
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
Steven Martinez: I studied a few screenplays that I admired,
and began thinking about how the written word can serve a visual
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Steven Martinez: This is actually my second script, and it took
about a year to complete.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
I generally write after work, and on weekends. I tend to prefer
writing in the morning, or at night.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
Steven Martinez: Absolutely, because they provide a sense of
professionalism that can sneak away from a writer if he's not
FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the
FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards?
Steven Martinez: I read a highly favorable review of the
contest in an online forum.
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Steven Martinez: Probably “Star Wars” (1976), because it seems
to contain all the essential elements to telling a compelling,
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you
passionate about and why?
Steven Martinez: I love music, and am currently learning to
play the piano (which seems much more difficult than writing, if you
can believe it!).
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
Steven Martinez: Probably Charlie Kauffman, because he seems to
bridge that chasm between what people experience and what they
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Steven Martinez: Paul Thomas Anderson, because he uses a great
deal of symbolism in his films. I think he's the most gifted director
alive, and I'm actually in the process of completing a book about his
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Steven Martinez: Matt Damon, because he possesses that rare
combination of intelligence, strength, and everyday humanity.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Steven Martinez: I think writers have to really reflect on why
they understand the experiences that mean the most to them. If a
writer can come to grips with their own particular insights (and why
they possess them), they can begin to translate those experiences into
a cohesive story.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Steven Martinez: I should finish my book about the films of P.T.
Anderson before January (the working title of which is: “Serpent at
the Door: The Films of Paul Thomas Anderson”). After that, another
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
Steven Martinez: It's not easy to say, since much of my best
writing has come from staying mobile. One thing's for sure, I'll be
writing every step of the way.