FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write and ultimately motivated you to write your first screenplay?
Mark Reinisch: I took a film course in college. The class assignment was to write a screenplay. I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process. That motivated me to spend a year reading every book I could find on screenwriting and begin the pursuit of my first sale.
FilmMakers Magazine: Were you working at the time?
Mark Reinisch: I've worked throughout college and after. I haven't had the luxury of spending my full-time energies on screenwriting - which is another motivator to get that first sale.
FilmMakers Magazine: Can you name the books that helped you the most?
Mark Reinisch: The Screenwriters Bible, Syd Field's Screenplay, The Comic Toolbox, & Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434 are a few.
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
Mark Reinisch: I spent the first year just studying the craft. After that, I took a methodical approach - carefully outlined the story and struggled through the first draft. I didn't realize how steep the learning curve would be.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
Mark Reinisch: Absolutely. The bulk of the writing takes place on week-ends. I target two months for the first draft and two more for extensive rewriting...try to target every possible angle in the rewriting process.
Did you ever have any doubts about completing the script?
Mark Reinisch: No. For me, it was never an option. The challenge of making it as a screenwriter has been a passion from day one and will continue to keep me motivated.
FilmMakers Magazine: Did you have any days where you asked yourself that maybe this is too big for me?
Mark Reinisch: Sure. The first script...staring at an empty screen was certainly intimidating. But, I also never really failed at anything that I set my mind to.
FilmMakers Magazine: At what stage did you decide it was finished?
Mark Reinisch: With all scripts, I go through the rewriting process and chip away at all of the imperfections, send it out to a network of trusted friends, have a consultant read it and then put the finishing touches on it. Then it's ready to be marketed.
FilmMakers Magazine: Was this your first writing experience
Mark Reinisch: It was my first "professional" writing experience.
FilmMakers Magazine: How many contests would you say you've entered
prior to FilmMakers New Millennium Contest?
Mark Reinisch: I entered one other contest early on... didn't result in anything much.
FilmMakers Magazine: What caused you to enter the first contest and why?
Mark Reinisch: Just getting your script read by a professional is an accomplishment in itself. I saw contests as a way to get the script read and, hopefully, create some visibility...with the ultimate goal of securing representation.
FilmMakers Magazine: How did you hear about our contest?
Mark Reinisch: I toured the Hollywood Lit Sales web site, searched their contest database, and targeted your contest. I liked the fact that production companies would be a part of the
decision process (hoping it would lead to interest).
FilmMakers Magazine: What went through your mind when you first found out you were the winner of the scholarship to Victoria Motion Picture School?
Mark Reinisch: A lot. It was terrific recognition and a great opportunity. From a practical standpoint, with a family, mortgage, and promising career, it's also a very difficult decision. I have already contacted the school and will explore fully ...
FilmMakers Magazine: What are your plans for the future?
Mark Reinisch: General Electric has many businesses in California (including NBC). I'm targeting a relocation to LA so I can further my career but also be in the heart of the film industry...hope it will increase my chances of selling a script.
Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
Mark Reinisch: Very appreciative of the recognition...has already led to two agents requesting my script. I'm becoming more and more convinced that a key part to breaking through is getting your script in the right hands at the right time. So, my advice would be to keep writing and marketing your work. Have a great day!
I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter when ....
I took a film course in college. The semester assignment was to write a screenplay. I found the
challenge and creative process to be inspiring. Once I applied myself and
learned the craft, screenwriting soon became my passion.
I know I've succeeded when ........
Quite simply, I've sold my first
When did you write OFFICE POLITICS?
I wrote "Office Politics" four months ago.
What inspired you to write it?
Having worked for General Electric for six years, I've been exposed to the inner-workings of a major
corporation. I've seen how management and employees can employ cut-throat tactics to move forward with their careers, often at the expense of others.
"Office Politics" was an attempt to satirize the
essence of a modern-day
corporation, showing how different people with different motivations handle
adversity in their attempt to survive.
How long did it take you?
Tell us about your first writing experience (screenwriting).
At college, I had a semester assignment to write a screenplay for a film course. Since I
did not know much about the process, I thought thirty three pages seemed long enough for a feature-length screenplay. I even expected my professor to see
the brilliance in the writing, pass it on to industry contacts, and I would be on my way. Needless to say, I've learned a lot since that first
Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?
My favorite screenwriter would be Paddy Chayefsky. His screenplay "Network" was an inspiration to me when I
wrote "Office Politics." The manner in which Paddy blended satire and absurdity with compelling characters and an interesting storyline was pure
brilliance. I tried to achieve the same with "Office Politics."
What are your aspirations?
To be a full-time screenwriter, make an impact, and ultimately direct my own work.
When the creative juices stop, what do you do to get yourself on the
I take a day or two off from writing and involve myself in some other
endeavor. By the time I come back to the script, I've usually worked through the issue subconsciously.
Where will you be in six years from now?
I expect to be a full-time screenwriter by then.
11. Actors and Directors you would like to work with and why?
As a screenwriter I would want the director and actors to take the screenplay to
another level through their interpretation process. The best films are a
collaborative and synergistic process, I believe. With that in mind, I would want to work with Albert Brooks and Woody Allen as Directors and Nicolas
Cage, Robert DeNiro, John Cleese, and Steve Martin as Actors. For the type of scripts I write, I think they could take my work to another level.