What’s your name? Where were you born? Where do you live? And what’s your hobby?
Darrin J. Friedman. Born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of DC. I live in Pittsburgh with my family. My hobby is acting.
Where did you come up with the concept that just placed as Finalist in the screenplay contest? How long did it take you to develop it into the screenplay it is now?
I wrote it as an assignment last semester during my MFA studies in writing for Stage and Screen at Point Park University. I developed it over 10 days from beginning to end.
From concept to finished draft, can you take us through your screenwriting process?
I usually start with what kind of story I want to tell. I have a habit of choosing protagonists who deal with mental health issues. After I do that, I map it out knowing the beginning, middle, and end. Then I just write.
When did you realize that you wanted to become a screenwriter?
In the last many years, I have been a writer, but had used the talent for the business sector. My love for writing fiction came about seven years ago. I have two published novels and a play. However, screenwriting is quickly becoming my first love.
Who are your biggest filmmaking/screenwriting influences? What about their style do you like or borrow?
Regarding films I love, and the scripts that they are based on, I would go with some of the standards. Pulp Fiction, Godfather 1 and 2, Shawshank Redemption, and Casablanca. I love the language in all of them. I also love a redemption story.
Have you ever been obsessed with a movie or TV show? If so, which one? Why?
I have my obsessions: Star Wars (originals), Star Trek post 1987, like Deep Space 9 and Discovery, and the entire Harry Potter universe.
What’s your favorite moment in cinema history? Why?
When I saw The Empire Strikes Back in person at the theater it changed my whole world. I will never forget that moment.
Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? Why?
Michael Corleone. He is brilliant and lethal. If it’s on, I always stop and watch.
If you could talk to anyone from any era, who would it be and what would you ask them?
That’s a hard one. I would keep it simple: Alfred Hitchcock. I would ask him how he devised the tension and surprise he used in his films. There is always a moment where you go, my god, that was insane. It all stands up as well. He’s just brilliant.