SHANE MCCABE and JORDAN LEE MCGRATH - 2011 FALL/WINTER Feature Screenplay Finalist
1. What is your screenplay about?
Phonebooth meets Se7en, False Hope is a psychological why-done-it thriller about a renowned Faith Healer who was kidnapped and forced at gunpoint to kill one of his terminally ill cancer patients, struggles to prove his innocence when the evidence he presents conspires to convict him, as it turns out the kidnapper and murder victim are the same person.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a film?
This a multi-layered tale of betrayal and misrepresentation that sees one man given a choice; own up, admit his guilt and walk free or continue to inhabit his web of intricate lies and falsehoods which can only result in one outcome – murder. In many ways it plays on the theme of the Cassandra Complex and has a universal theme which speaks to us all. We all have our demons, and if we were given one last chance to purge them, which of us would not jump at the chance. This is a film which will take the audience on a white-knuckle, roller-coaster ride of action, fear and intrigue as we see the evidence presented by the central character gradually erode his plea of innocence.
3. How long have you been writing screenplays?
A number of years now. Both of us come from an acting background and this is our second time collaborating. Both of us started off acting and progressed into writing.
4. If you have to name only one, what is your all-time favorite movie?
I think we both agree one hundred percent on this – 12 Angry Men. This movie has it all, a fantastic script, brought to life by a first time feature director marshalling a master cast of ensemble actors.
5. What artist in the film industry would you love to work with?
David Fincher in a heartbeat. Both Panic Room and The Social Network are excellent examples of how to execute a contained feature.
6. Who was your hero growing up?
Clint Eastwood. His move to, and success behind the camera, only cements our respect for him as an artist.
7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
To have at least two of our feature screenplays made into films, one of which we both hope to act in and direct.
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
We have no set routine. Both of us have written as individuals and this is our second collaboration. Both have our own unique way of working, but our common ground is prep. The time spent on this in invaluable to us moving forward to writing the first draft. However we would also like to point out that we feel the secret to a successful collaboration is the ability to recognise that your partner’s idea whatever it may be is better than yours, accept it for what it is, strengthening your project and move forward. The corollary is also true, recognising that your idea is better and being able to express the reasoning behind it in a way that doesn’t cause controversy.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
For Shane, it is directing. He is gung-ho to direct his first feature…He has made a few short films which have done well internationally, some dummy commercials and even did a comedic remake of an iconic scene from a Oscar winning Film which I shot on a cell phone, (as per the rules of the competition). For Jordan-Lee it is acting. False Hope is a culmination of those two passions. Shane will direct False Hope and Jordan-Lee will act in it.
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?
The WILDsound Competition offers filmmakers like us a big step in making our dream a reality by giving voice to the words on the page. Seeing your work performed by talented actors before an audience helps a writer immensely, and WILDsound facilitates that.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Tips? Never, never, never, stop writing! Never listen to begrudging feedback, but do listen to constructive feedback. Writing is all about rewriting, making your script better.