The 11th Annual American Gem
Short Script Contest Winners


Winners | Biography | Logline | Interview | Script Excerpt


American Gem Short Script Contest


Short Screenplay

Jeremy B. Storey
of Seattle WA, United States



Jeremy B. Storey

Jeremy Storey, resides in Seattle, WA, with his wife, son, dog and cat. When he’s not busy with his day job in the advertising industry, he attempts to write. In fact, he has been writing on-and-off for the last fifteen years. He’s dabbled in stage plays, feature-length screenplays and short screenplays. He even wrote a novel once, but the less said about that effort, the better. He’s had a few things produced along the way (a feature (REWIND), two shorts (GOOD DEEDS and A DRIFTING) and a play (LAST CUP OF SORROW). He’s delighted and honored that his short film script, WISHBONE performed so well at the American Gem Short Screenplay Contest.



A world famous writer, broken by grief, is offered a chance at redemption, but at what cost?


Interview Part 1.

I knew I wanted to be screenwriter when I developed an interest in developing screenplays after a close friend suggested that we write one together after he found out that I had recently written a novel. It never occurred to me that I try my hand at screenwriting. But given that I was a movie maven, with a prediction for writing, it was an obvious transition. Of course, the script we wrote was a piece of crap. But it ignited a fire in me that has remained alight ever since.

I know I've succeeded If I continue to not only write, but also enjoy the process of writing itself and continue to learn and grow along the way. And yeah… would be nice to have a few things produced here and there.

My inspiration to write Wishbone when I was in bed with my (then) two year-old son, listening to him gently surrender to the land of nod, when a thought occurred to me that this lovely moment might not have happened, if I’d made a series of different decisions back when I was at University. What if I had choose one way over the other? I wouldn’t be in Seattle. I wouldn’t have met and fallen in love with my wife. We wouldn’t have conspired to create this being that in the manifestation of our love that was snoring peacefully beside me. It was that thought that was the gestation for the story of WISHBONE. After about twenty minutes of noodling around in my imagination, I pretty much came up with the entire story.


Interview Part 1.

FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?
Jeremy B. Storey:
I had a tendency as a kid to live in my imagination. Spent hours and hours and hours with my Star Wars and GI Joe figures, making up new adventures for them to undertake. My father would see me doing this and would say, time and again, that I clearly had a proclivity and need to tell stories. So… I did”

FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Jeremy B. Storey:
No. This is not my first script. Probably was my fifth or sixth. Took me about a week to complete the initial few drafts. Then altogether a few more days spread out across a few years on rewrites, edits, etc.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
Jeremy B. Storey:
I tend to write an outline of the scenes first. Then I sketch out the characters. Once that’s done, I tend to hand write the first draft in a note book, and then commit it to a screenplay format. I’ve written from all sorts of places… airplanes, hotel rooms, home office, work office, on trains. Wherever inspiration strikes. And for however long it takes. I often find with writing that it’s the one task that I tend to lose track of time. Probably because I get completely sucked into the work, and when the imagination games kick into high gear, reality tends to blur into the background.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?
Jeremy B. Storey:
Yes and no. Contests are a great way of getting mostly objective feedback and being able to compare your work to others. Sometimes this can be quite sobering, and other times misleading. The important thing is to not put too much stock into the outcome. If you do, it might either over inflate your sense of self-excellence, or disproportionately demoralize you. That’s why it’s healthy to enter the same script into multiple competitions to get a sense of where your story lands in a larger continuum.

FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the American Gem Short Script Contest?
Jeremy B. Storey:
A number of articles and websites list American Gem as one of the premier competitions to enter. I wanted to see how WISHBONE would perform against other screenplays, in a competition that is very well respected and probably attracts many promising writers.

FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
Jeremy B. Storey:
In general I would encourage aspiring writers to read screenplays from some of their favorite movies. It’s a great way of seeing how the writer formats the screenplay, but also very insightful on how they write action. My favorite script to read was The Shawshank Redemption by Frank Darabont. It’s a great film in its own right, but it’s amazing how much of that story comes to life via the script.

FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
Jeremy B. Storey:
I’m passionate about sports. Both as a participant and audience member. I love watching and playing Soccer. My favorite professional team since I was a little boy is Tottenham Hotspur. Also grew up playing cricket and tennis. Outside of sports, I’m also very passionate about film.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?
Jeremy B. Storey:
I don’t really have a favorite. I have screenplays and TV writing that I think is extremely impressive. For example, Curtis Hanson’s work on LA Confidential was exceptional. In particular when you read Elmore Leanord book, you get a much greater sense of just how complicated of a story it was to translate to the screen. I also have a lot of respect for Joss Whedon and the impact he’s had on film and television over the last fifteen years. I don’t think there’s a more skilled and nuanced writer than Mr. Whedon when it comes to character interactions, and using them to drive character growth and plot simultaneously.

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Jeremy B. Storey:
Ben Affleck. His work on Argo, Gone Baby Gone and The Town was exemplary. I find his films to be beautifully shot, acted and directed. He has a great sense of pacing and storytelling. He’s not afraid to be patient and let the film slowly evolve and develop. Which is nice in a day and age when both writers and directors seem to think it’s their mission in life to tell you that you need to tighten everything up and chop it down until there’s no more meat on the bone. Just a boring ‘ol bone!

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Jeremy B. Storey:
Meryl Streep. ‘Cos she’s Hollywood royalty… and she seems super cool!

FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Jeremy B. Storey:
Keep writing. Be open to sharing and receiving feedback from others. But remember to be true to yourself and your vision. Remember there are a lot of yahoos out there who will easily discourage you with negative feedback. Don’t let that dampen your enthusiasm. But also don’t wall yourself off from objective opinions.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
Jeremy B. Storey: Working on a short film we’re hoping to produce later this year…TOWER OF STRENGTH. ( Also wrote a new short a few month ago, CAT & MOUSE. And working on the outline for my next short, SNAPSHOT, that I hope to complete by the end of year.

FilmMakers Magazine: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
Jeremy B. Storey:
Hopefully still writing and maybe have a couple more awards and produced films under my belt.


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