We had the pleasure to chat with our Fall 2021 feature finalist Pamela Hanson about her screenwriting journey and her multiple award-winning screenplay “The Lamplighter” that is also released as a novel and has a proof of concept film available here!
Tell us more about “The Lamplighter”
I’ve always loved lighthouses and when I wrote the screenplay with the story that revolves around the building of one, I entered The Lamplighter into a few festivals, not knowing how it would pan out.
Like any other screenwriter, I wondered if anyone would like it, would it be a big flop or would it do okay? Yet I also felt enthusiasm for this original period drama, which encapsulates poverty, the aftermath of slavery, technological breakthrough and an young Robert Louis Stevenson.
Tell us more about the festival success?
This turned out to be some investment for me as I entered around thirty festivals covering 2021. In a short space of time, The Lamplighter won six festivals worldwide and placed in even more. My best friend lives in Reno and in January 2022, she asked me to enter the Reno/Tahoe Screenplay Contest. I told her I wasn’t doing any more festivals, but she insisted – and even paid for it. A few months later, the verdict was Finalist. I was happy with that. And more so pleased with the professional way the contest was held and the continued communication they have with their writers.
What is your main advise to other writers on writing a finalist screenplay?
I thought ‘What are the judges actually looking for?’ I hadn’t a clue apart from knowing the first ten pages had to capture their attention and clarify the setting and who the main character was.
We understand you also adapted the screenplay into a novel?
I had so much more detail to tell that I couldn’t squeeze into a limited number of pages in a screenplay. On October 3, 2022, my book was released and incredibly, has remained an Amazon best seller.
I am grateful for my Reno friend’s belief in The Lamplighter story. And next year I will follow suit with another screenplay, the comedy, No Spring Till Now and enter it into a string of festivals, which will definitely include the Reno/Tahoe Screenwriting Contest and will see how it goes there!
Proof of Concept of The Lamplighter: https://youtu.be/jPRSX08Vj_w