Our Winner is: “Shoe Shine” by Kelly Crawford of Dallas, TX with help from Development Executive: Camille Godwin-Austen.
“Shoe Shine” is about a newly Christian singer, who must deal with an incriminating photo from his inglorious past. Kelly wrote the best 12-page screenplay in one week (168 hours) with an advisor called a Development Executive (DE). Both are interviewed below.
Here are the four Runners-up:
SECOND PLACE “Gracie Smiles” by Cindy O’Halloran of Richland Center, WI with DE James M. De Vince Logline: A shy girl's evangelistic speech is pointed at her teacher.
THIRD PLACE “A Simple Act “ by Kimberly Jade Soliman of Buena Park, CA with DE Ted Cox A dying teen interrupts a suicide in progress.
FOURTH PLACE “One Step Away” by Kelli Cloud Barton & Amy Walker Molina with DE William G. Jones White Oak, TX A young grad's boss believes in her ability to reach abused girls.
FIFTH PLACE “Colors of Siaka“ by Derek D. Bullard of Irvine, CA with DE Camille Godwin-Austen An African boy is thrust into the Ivorian Civil War.
ALL FINALISTS are available for reading here.
Prizes includee $750 cash ($500 to the writer, $250 to the DE) and writer introduction to Hollywood Pros, including Brian Bird ("The Case For Christ" and “When Calls The Heart”). Any WP script may be produced for the 168 Film Festival's Write of Passage Spotlight. Writers and mentors (DE's) receive screen credit if their film is made.
Some Quotes From the Following Interview:
“I plan to actively pursue screenwriting. I have written four feature length screenplays and two short films.” -- Kelly Crawford
“I knew Jesus as my Savior, but I kept thinking there was so much more I wanted to do with my life,” -- Kelly Crawford
“I love the heart of the 168/WP competition, the challenge of completing a project with a tight deadline and the spiritual growth that happens during the process, which always takes me in a surprising direction.” -- Camille Godwin-Austen
The interviewer is John David Ware (JDW). “WP” means Write of Passage. “KC” is Kelly Crawford “CGA” is Camille Godwin-Austen.
We asked some probing questions and got probing answers.
Interview with Best Writer Kelly Crawford
JDW: Tell us about yourself. What do you do for work?
KC: I’m an attorney in Dallas, Texas and practice primarily in securities fraud litigation. I started writing screenplays about 5 years ago. I have a degree in journalism, love movies, and am excited to be writing screenplays.
JDW: Tell us about your family and where you live. How has your environment and family shaped your writing? What obstacles have you had to overcome in life? How have they helped your writing?
KC: God has blessed me with a wonderful family. My wife and I live in Dallas, Texas. We have two daughters and a son. They are each married and live in Texas. Our oldest daughter and her husband have three children (our grandchildren) ages 6, 3, and 1. Ten years ago I had a brain hemorrhage and was in intensive care for 4 days. During those days in intensive care, I was not afraid of dying because I knew Jesus as my Savior, but I kept thinking there was so much more I wanted to do with my life. I thank God for each day he provides me and consider each day a “bonus.”
JDW: How did you learn about Write of Passage (WP) &168 Film Project?
KC: A filmmaker Chris Wiegand (Award Winning Director/Producer) and I were in a bible study together and Chris told me about the 168 Film Project. Chris won Best Picture a few years ago at the 168 Film Project. In May he asked if I would be part of his team for this year’s competition and his film “The Antique Shop.” My wife and I attended the 168 Film Project awards in August and I learned about the Write of Passage competition.
JDW: Is this your 1st time in WP? Have you won awards, been optioned, etc?
KC: This is my first time in Write of Passage. I was one of three writers for “The Antique Shop,” which was nominated for best screenplay in 2019. I wrote a feature length screenplay called NINE SCARS that was a finalist in The Spotlight Screenplay Competition sponsored by Script Magazine and the International Screenwriters' Association; and a semi-finalist in the Table Read My Screenplay Competition - Park City. NINE SCARS was also the First Scene Winner of the Thriller Suspense Festival.
JDW: Besides the verse, what inspired you to write “Shoe Shine?”
KC: After studying the verse I came up with three different stories, one of which was the “Shoe Shine.” The next day I was at the courthouse and a charismatic larger than life man was soliciting customers for a shoeshine. I really felt as if God was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me the “Shoe Shine” was the story to tell. I felt God’s hand on the script throughout the writing process.
JDW: How did this year’s theme hit you? Describe your journey from theme and verse?
KC: The verse is such an important reminder to us to boldly trust in God to say what He leads us to say even in difficult circumstances and to do so without making excuses. The verse is convicting to me. In these days it is so important for God’s truth to be shared and defended when His word is under attack.
JDW: How are you planning to shape the story going forward? Any plans to make the film?
KC: I would love for the script to be made into a film. I don’t have any plans to make the film but would welcome any interest from producers or directors. The script is in God’s hands and if it can be made into a film it needs to be made for His glory and to share a message of God’s grace, love and acceptance to all who may see the film.
JDW: Tell us about your pursuit of the arts?
KC: Movies are a powerful means of communication and there is no better message to communicate than the love and grace of Jesus. I started writing screenplays about five years ago and am constantly learning. I still have a lot to learn. I look forward to creating stories that hopefully become films for audiences to enjoy and for God to be glorified.
JDW: How did your Mentor/Development Executive, help shape your story?
KC: Camille was just terrific. She provided positive encouragement throughout the process and gave me some great insight into the message of the script and suggestions on how to tighten up the script. She was excellent at providing assistance without being heavy handed — always encouraging. It was a real joy to work with Camille.
JDW: Tell us about your writing process.
KC: I studied the verse carefully and read the context. I broke down the verse into the messages I felt were included in the verse and prayed for God’s guidance. I came up with three different stories and outlined each story. I solicited feedback from my family about each idea. As I mentioned earlier, one morning I was at the courthouse and saw a larger than life man soliciting shoe shines and I really felt as if God was telling me — the “Shoe Shine” is your story. I woke up at 4 a.m. the next day, couldn’t go back to sleep, and made a scene by scene outline of the screenplay. The next day I wrote the entire script. I sent drafts to Camille and she provided excellent feedback. After several drafts, the script was finalized and submitted.
JDW: How has WP helped you grow as a writer? Would you recommend it to others?
KC: I would highly recommend WP to other writers. Having a specific time in which to complete the script compels you to get it done. The assistance of a Development Executive really helps the writing experience. It is so helpful to have someone available to provide honest feedback and keep the message coherent and tight. I learned a tremendous amount from this.
JDW: What are your plans for the future?
KC: I plan to actively pursue screenwriting. I have written four feature length screenplays and two short films. One of the short films was written with my brother and we have a director and production team lined up to make the short film called “George” in the Spring of 2020. I am currently rewriting one of my original feature length screenplays and will focus on marketing the screenplay once it is finished. JDW: Anything else we should know about you?
KC: I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Write of Passage and am so thankful for the encouragement. To God be the glory!
Interview with Winning Development Executive Camille Godwin-Austen
JDW: Where are you from and what do you do?
CGA: I’m retired from my former ‘day job’ as a purchasing executive with several large restaurant chains in Southern California. I’m now back in the heart of Oregon wine country (where I grew up), and actively pursuing my true passions: Writing, music and serving the Lord through various community volunteer efforts.
JDW: You are frequent participant in WP. What have you learned? Do you still find it useful? You are a first time DE? How did you like shaping and leading writers?
CGA: I’ve been a finalist in the competition each time I’ve entered. I love the heart of the 168/WP competition, the challenge of completing a project with a tight deadline and the spiritual growth that happens during the process, which always takes me in a surprising direction.
JDW: What do you see as some differences between telling stories in your region vs. other places?
CGA: The sheer beauty of the region, the changing of the seasons become an integral part of any story set here. The people here are friendly, down to earth, community-minded, and not nearly in such a hurry. The pace is different – slower, more languid. It took me about a year to adjust - and not bite my nails when my car gets behind a farm truck going 15 MPH.
JDW: How has being a DE in Write of Passage helped you grow? What have you learned? What would you tell writers about the experience?
CGA: I have absolutely loved working with my writers. They were all so talented and each brought their unique perspective and storytelling skills to this year’s challenge. I loved being able to read their work and offer suggestions to help polish and take their work to the next level. Kelly was terrific to work with and I’m so excited that his story has won. For any writers who are thinking about entering the challenge: Try it. WP very is a safe and supportive environment to hone your speedwriting and storytelling skills. For writers who entered the challenge but did not win this year – keep trying.
JDW: What are your plans for the future?
CGA: I’m busy dusting off a box of writing projects started during my working career, to see if there are any gems of story that I can update for today’s audience. I continue to write both words and music and serve in my community. My husband and I are traveling to Germany next Spring to see the Oberammergau passion play, which has been on my must do list for a long time.
JDW: Anything else we should know about you?
CGA: Lots, but you’re probably running out of space by now!