Paul Weidknecht – “Scripts are more photogenic when they break free from your computer.”

Photo Credit: D. Adelaide Weidknecht
Photo Credit: D. Adelaide Weidknecht

Exclusive Interview with Paul Weidknecht – Screenwriter

Paul Weidknecht is the author of Native to This Stream: Brief Writings About Fly-Fishing & the Great Outdoors, a chapbook collection of previously published short stories, essays, and poems. He wrote the short film, “Know Thy Partner”, (IMDb) and his work has appeared in Gray’s Sporting Journal, Outdoor Life, Rosebud, Shenandoah, Structo (UK), and elsewhere. He is currently editing his feature-length screenplay on the first African-American war hero, a story that might be described as a Revolutionary War version of Glory. He is a member of the Bethlehem Writers Group and lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

Photo credit: D. Adelaide Weidknecht

NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?

Aside from editing my feature-length historical drama about the first African-American war hero, I am working on and putting out several shorts scripts based on stories I have written and had published in the past. Always writing!

NY Glam: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?

I think a great film is a combination of special talents brought together in a special way. Whether it is Casablanca or It’s  A Wonderful Life or The Shawshank Redemption, the process starts with a compelling story—the script—then the director’s vision, the actor’s interpretation, the photography, etc. Also, someone has to come up with the money; that’s the producer (laughs).

NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?

Probably building the character in reverse. Meaning, that by starting with a conflict, something the character must overcome, he or she reveals through dialogue and action what they are willing to do. For example, someone loses a job due to a co-worker’s lie. Is the newly unemployed person a guy who’s done 26 years in prison or a high school student in a relationship with her fast food manager?

NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?

My favorite projects would be the short film I wrote, Know Thy Partner, produced by MC PATRAT Film in Romania, which was made just last year. It was an exciting process seeing the words I wrote brought to life, to see others’ interpretation of the script. The second would be collecting my outdoor writings into my chapbook, Native To This Stream: Brief Writings About Fly-Fishing & the Great Outdoors. Aside from writing films, a lot of spare time is spent on various trout streams in northwest New Jersey. Finally, being a part of Bethlehem Writers Group’s series of Sweet, Funny, and Strange anthologies.  Our newest anthology, Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of Intrigue, a collection of mystery short stories, of is out now.

NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?

My background is in writing literary short fiction and poetry, so I express myself creatively in those disciplines, as well.

NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?

Probably the best advice to a screenwriter wanting to see their work realized as a film would be to be flexible. Never lose the core vision of your work, but let it be malleable enough to accommodate the talented and creative people you’ll be working with in this common goal. Oh, and keep writing…never stop writing and submitting your work. Scripts are more photogenic when they break free from your computer.

NY Glam: What can we expect from you in this actual year?

I’ll be working on more short scripts, hopefully, with some independent directors who want to bring these stories to life. I have a bunch of them available (laughs). I will be publishing my feature-length script about the first African-American war hero, an inspiring  story of which few people are familiar.

NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website

Reach out on Facebook and I’ll friend you! I can also be reached through the Bethlehem Writers Group. Many thanks to New York Glamour Magazine for the opportunity for this interview.  


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