Interview with Wayne D Burdette Jr
What topic do you discuss in your script? And why?
With this question, let me first start with the why. I sat down and wrote this script first to go along with a book that I cowrote around the subject of executive protection agents and the importance of them being able to provide medical care to their clients, especially when they are protecting individuals that have families. It is great to be able to prevent an altercation as an agent... but what happens when your client has a family and their children have a medical emergency? The first script honestly was not the best and so I went to work on it and now there are topics that involve love, forgiveness, loss, sacrifice, mystery, and more. It is written in a way that entertains the audience but also shows real world topics that people face every day.
How do people feel after reading your script?
From the feedback that I have heard from individuals both in and out of the entertainment industry, they love the story and go through several different emotions during the script. It has scenes in it that are not expected and scenes that are meant to make the reader and viewer think about who may have done it. Once they think they have figured it out there are additional unexpected turns, making the ultimate feedback as an exceptional story. The script is is hard to put down, leaving the readers feeling eager to finish it.
Do you think that films can change people for the better or for the worse?
I actually am very confident that it can change people for the better because they can relate to the story and ultimately will be able to relate to the characters.
According to 3-act dramaturgy, how would you define your story?
The story follows the 3-act dramaturgy in which that first ultimate scene will draw in the reader and viewer so they will want to know more. Then as the characters develop and the story develops, the reader and viewer will be able to see and feel emotions towards the characters. The final scene in the film will leave them wanting more.
How does the main character develop?
The main character develops in a way throughout the movie based on certain events that happen through the script, some based on actual events. It will bring out raw emotions and will have you deeply invested in the characters journey throughout the film.
What actors do you imagine in your project (typologically)?
The actors & actresses that I imagine in this film are ones that are prepared to have the passion and drive to bring the character to life and not just playing a part in a movie. They will be able to see the character and how they change and how they feel and know that at this point they have to be authoritative. Then in certain scenes the compassionate side has to come out. Actors & actresses also will be empathizing well in order to really bring out the character, story, and film.
Why do you think your script should attract director?
The script attracted the current director, Michael Givens because of the story that is being told and how when he read it, he could immediately see the vision and see the story that is being told and how it develops and how the characters develop as well. He was excited to come on board and we share the same vision for this script & film and because all my scripts are developed in the same way, we are both looking to future films together. That is what directors will see in all of my scripts is that they ae something that can be developed into not one but even two or three different films and done in a way to where it is not just doing a sequel to do one but a sequel to continue the story.
At which festivals did you receive the award?
To date, Heart Stopper has received 17 nominations with 9 wins & 3 Semi-Finalist for things such as Best Feature Script, Best Story, and Best Unproduced Script. This just in the first couple of months being in the festivals and we hope to add Cannes to that as well but ultimately, we hope to continue with readers loving the script and viewers loving the film.
Which screenwriters are your favorite and why?
This is a hard question because there are so many great ones out there and so many great stories. I would have to say my favorite would be any screenwriter that tells a story and writes a script not because they have to but because they want to. Those are the most authentic screenwriters, who really know how to tell a story.
About which topics are your screenplays?
I have written several different scripts about several different topics from Romantic/Comedies, Romance, Psychological thrillers, Faith Based Films, Mystery, Action, and even some that are about Horror. So, to date I have written 20 different scripts with a very wide range of topics.
What motivates you the most to write screenplays?
With this question, it will allow me to expand a little further on why I have written so many different scripts with so many different topics. About 5 months ago, my dad had a sudden what I believe was a stroke and never fully was able to communicate with us again and then after a month in the hospital, he passed away right in front of me. Having to be strong for my mom and sister, I didn't share feelings with them that I had and so I started writing about these feelings. One evening an ad came up for a screenwriting software and so I turned my feelings and things that had happened throughout my life into stories and characters and ultimately screenplays but also added in that entertainment component. I happen to let a well-known actor and actress read one and they absolutely loved it and then they loved the next one and told me to not stop writing and that these screenplays needed to be turned into movies. That is what motivates me to write is the fact that individuals can relate to the screenplays and the fact mostly that I can honor my dad and the promises I made to him before he took his final breath that late night.
What are your plans in future careers?
It is ironic that you ask this question because initially it was to be an actor. However, my future plans are to continue to be a writer because at this point, I cannot stop the stories that come to me on a daily basis. I literally have several more screenplays that are almost finished and ready to be filmed. As well, there are screenplays that I have that I know would be great for certain top named talent including directors but to reach them at this point is almost impossible. It's a true shame because one of the screenplays, a director like James Cameron, Steven Spielberg or Michael Bay would love would be able to tell the story in such a powerful way, especially adding top name talent. Knowing this, my ultimate goal is to be taken in a way in the entertainment industry to where this type of access is possible. Furthering the power of the story I am trying to pass on to the viewer.