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Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist (Lyndon McGill)

What’s your name? Lyndon McGill

Where were you born? Salem, Oregon

Where do you live? Salem, Oregon

And what’s your hobby? Screenwriting, fishing, golf.

Where did you come up with the concept that just placed as Finalist in the screenplay contest?

Was perusing items for sale on eBay and saw a vintage optician’s lens kit, the one I included on

the title page of my pilot script.

How long did it take you to develop it into the screenplay it is now? About 6 months.

From concept to finished draft, can you take us through your screenwriting process? I usually start

with the beginning or the end, then fill in the gaps and do several rewrites until I’m satisfied. Then

I enter it into a few screenwriting contests to see how it fares. If it makes it to the finals, I’m

convinced that it has potential and continue to invest my time into polishing it and submitting it to


When did you realize that you wanted to become a screenwriter? After hearing Mike Rich speak

at a writing seminar in Portland about 15 years ago.

Who are your biggest filmmaking/screenwriting influences? I can’t think of anyone in particular.

Blake Snyder (Save The Cat series) maybe. I’ve learned a lot from numerous webinars, podcasts,

etc., as well as just reading other people’s scripts.

What about their style do you like or borrow? There are numerous scripts spanning the various

genres that have resulted in successful productions. I just borrow a little from some of those to give

my scripts better impact.

Have you ever been obsessed with a movie or TV show? If so, which one? Perry Mason, when I

was a kid.

Why? It was a cliff-hanger until the last minute.

What’s your favorite moment in cinema history? Probably when the warden discovers that Andy

has escaped in The Shawshank Redemption.

Why? It was such a creative and dramatic reveal.

Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? Probably Andy in The Shawshank Redemption.

Why? Because he channels his frustration into creativity and comes up with a solution that ends his


If you could talk to anyone from any era, who would it be and what would you ask them? A toss-

up between Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. Just what made them decide a particular storyline

had merit and when they knew the script was ready to shoot.