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SHARON WILLIS ROBINSON

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SHARON WILLIS ROBINSON

1. What is your screenplay about?

Courtney Jamison has made a life for herself as an Event Coordinator after her husband, David, disappeared nearly six years ago when the oil platform he was working on exploded. Courtney is driving home to Knoxville, TN in a horrific storm from an event she planned in Atlanta, and calls her friend Leisha to help her stay awake. While on the phone, she drives past a semi-truck and catches the truck driver disposing of a woman's body. The truck driver chases her, runs her off the road, shoots her and leaves her for dead. She is rescued by Monroe County Deputy Colton Humboldt and then Paramedic Parker Doran has to bring her back to life in the Med-Evac chopper en route to hospital. Soon afterwards, the truck driver learns Courtney survived and he becomes obsessessed with making her life a living nightmare. He torments her by tormenting her friends, leaving them cryptic business cards just to let them know he can get to them anytime he wants. Courtney's life spirals out of control while he continues to kill women and maim and mutilate their corpses and threaten to do the same to her close friends. She becomes close to both Colton (while he's working her case) and Parker, who fell for her when he revived her in the Med-EVAC chopper and she tells him "major boob exposure means he owes her dinner". Both Colton and Parker, friends since childhood, have to come to grips with being in love with the same woman. On top of this, Colton has to save her from the truck driver who kidnaps and kills one of her closest friends, Rochelle. Colton has problems with not being with Courtney when the truck driver called her so she can hear him torture and kill Rochelle while utterly helpless to save her friend. The truck driver tells Courtney "you're next, mon cherie". Rochelle's body is found the next day, at the same mile marker 64 where Courtney first saw the truck driver disposing of the woman's body. Colton has to find the truck driver before it's too late, but unfortunately, it's not before the sadistic killer has Courtney at the mercy of his knife.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Wow! I guess, it's because I believe in it. I have been told that Mile Marker 64 works well as either a Romance or as a Thriller and that it's a great combination of the two genres. I was also told that it has the potential to be an incredibly prosperous movie (by the WILDsound Judges) - something I think makes it worthy of production!

3. How long have you been writing screenplays?

Less than one year, though I've been writing short stories all my life. I heard that Magnum, P.I. was going to be made into a blockbuster using Ashton Kutcher or Mathew McConaughy. It upset me so badly (there is, after all, only one Magnum, and that's Tom Selleck) that I went out and bought "The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script" and started writing a screenplay for how I'd like to see the Magnum, P.I. movie done. About halfway through writing this, a friend of mine called and said they'd caught a truck driving serial killer in North Carolina and asked me if I thought he was possibly the killer of the woman I'd found by the side of the interstate five years ago. This brought back all the nightmares I thought I had put behind me. As a writer, anything that amuses, interests or upsets me, I turn the basic facts into a fictional story. I tried to write this as a story/novella, but it just wasn't working. So, I decided to try it as a screenplay.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I'm a HUGE movie buff, love all kinds of movies, so to narrow it down to just one is just impossible to me. I have several favorite romantic movies like: While You Were Sleeping, The Wedding Date, Pretty Woman, The Vow, The Lucky One and far too many others to mention. One of my favorite Thrillers is "What Lies Beneath", it was so believable and realistic, it just scared the crap out of me. And I love Adventure and Action movies as well.

5. What artist in the film industry would you love to work with?

Who wouldn't I want to work with? For a first-time screenwriter with no formal training, it's an honor just to get this tremendous opportunity! But, since you asked, the WILDsound judge compared my script to "Duel", a Stephen Spielberg film, so if I were to really, really dream big, you know it would be SS! But, in reality, everyone has to start somewhere, so I'd be completely happy with anyone who believes in Mile Marker 64 as much as I do. (I also have a "Dream List" for the characters, but I'll keep that to myself.)

6. Who was your hero growing up?

My Mother, my Dad died when my twin brother and I were six years old, leaving us practically penniless and nearly destitute. At the time my Dad died, we were living in a 16' Streamline travel trailer. Mom, rather than giving up, moved us from North Carolina to Tennessee to be closer to her family. She worked three jobs, bought a small house in a good neighborhood and managed to raise us to be productive citizens without any financial help from family, the government, churches or other organizations. She did it all on her own! What a role model she was!

7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

I found I really enjoyed writing this script, creating the characters, and learning how to bring an idea to the page in movie format. So, if dreams really do come true, I'd love to be writing scripts for the rest of my life!

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

Writing is a discipline, so, yes, I set aside time everyday to put something on paper (computer actually). I always have more than one story going at a time, and switch back and forth between them. I find this helps because I'm not always in the mood to write a funny scene, or a dark scene, etc. And, I always write whatever is on my mind at the time, and then, after I've got the general idea down, I go back in a few days and rework it. I never stop the creative flow; I realize it's dribble at first (and sometimes it takes a second, third, tenth or fifteenth redraft before I'm happy with it).

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Genealogy! I have my family traced to the late 1600's or early 1700's in America and will soon be tracing them farther back into Europe. I have also traced my husband's line and several friends lines. Genealogy is not a passion, like writing, it's an obsession!

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?

I sent Mile Marker 64 to some friends in our Critique Group to get their critiques and to a close friend, Trista Ann Michaels who is an award winning novelist. She sent me the link to the WILDsound 1st Scene Contest and dared me to enter my first ten pages in your contest. (I never could turn down a dare!)

11. Any advice or tips you'd like to pass on to other writers?

WRITE IT! Always believe in yourself, set goals and meet them. You never know what you can accomplish if you don't give it your best effort. And even if your first (or second, tenth, or hundredth) effort fails, keep striving to reach that goal. The only time you're too old to make your dreams come true is when they shovel dirt over your casket. I should know, I'm 54 years old, and my first screenplay just made it to the FINALS at WILDSOUND'S SUMMER 2012 1st SCENE SCREENPLAY CONTEST! Now, I ask you - How awesome is that?




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SHARON WILLIS ROBINSON