Indie screenwriter headed for top

Satirical novelist, screenwriter, and film producer Scott Fivelson is gaining huge momentum with his new script Green Door, a surrealist romantic thriller about a Hollywood superstar actress, the iconic Clair de Lune. With Sean Maurer and Gary Ortiz of State and Cabrillo Productions producing with Fivelson, and with the recent backing of Peter Kleidman as executive producer (an executive producer of Wonderland with Val Kilmer and Kate Bosworth), Green Door sounds like a potential hit waiting to happen. Scott’s last production, American Reel starring David Carradine, British actor Michael Maloney, and Mariel Hemingway, and directed by Mark Archer (producer, In the Company of Men ), is being distributed by Liberation Entertainment.

Interview with Scott Fivelson

Iain: Why do you think Green Door is getting so much attention?

I think it’s getting so much attention because it’s being perceived as a remake of the first pornographic film widely released in the United States (in 1972), Behind the Green Door. And we’re glad to have that attention, precisely because it’s not a remake. It’s not a remake, not even a reinvention, it’s an entirely new creation, certainly not X-rated, R-rated at most, a mainstream movie for adults about life, life tending to involve love and sex. But it does use the existence of Behind the Green Door as a kind of jumping-off point in the story, in a rather amusing way. I think Green Door is going to be an unabashedly sexy movie hopefully, one of the sexiest movies ever made that actually tells a good story. That s the plan. We know we’ve got something special. Green Door is about a Hollywood superstar couple, Mitch Ferguson and his wife, Clair de Lune. It’s a dark comedy, with romantic and thriller aspects as well.

Iain: As a writer, what do you believe is the most important when creating a story?

Scott: It seems to me that for a story to sustain for the writer as he writes it, later, for the reader when he reads it, and still later, if it s a movie, for the audience when they watch it, you’ve just got to start with an idea you can t put down. If there’s no driving force, if you feel half-hearted about it, you need another idea. Index cards are also good.  I say that facetiously to some degree. But put it this way, whether you scribble it on index cards, legal pads, or cocktail napkins, the more raw material you have before firing the starting gun of the writing process even if those index cards are in your head the better off you usually are. Not that winging it from a blank slate can’t result in a terrific yarn. Elmore Leonard is said to work that way.

Iain: Where do you get your ideas from and how do you research your characters?

Scott: Green Door was unique, in that I almost always generate my own stories from the get-go. And yes, I did here too, but it was inspired by the unexpected source material of Behind the Green Door , to which Sean and Gary had secured the rights. I asked for complete creative freedom in what I wanted to do with it as a mainstream film, I got it, and I started writing. Nearly all other screenplays and fiction I write begins with a bolt out of the blue, that inescapable idea you just have to write. For characters I just look at my neighbors, but seriously, you read, you look, you listen.   Sometimes a film has its origins in not only the concept for a story that has occurred to you, but also the main character. That’s what happened with American Reel.

Iain: How did you get your first feature American Reel made ?

Scott: The planets just aligned, with a little help from my friends. Fellow producers Jordan Rush and Darrell Griffin helped me close the financing. The very thoughtful Ally Sheedy sent the script to David Carradine, because she just knew how much he loved music. Brilliant British actor and very fine fellow Michael Maloney liked the script well enough that he called me from a callbox in Yorkshire, to say he was on board. Mark Archer, who had just won at Sundance for being one of the producers of ‘In the Company of Men’, came on to direct. My co-writer on American Reel, Junior Burke, also contributed some amazing songs, as did David Carradine. Everything flowed.

Iain: What was it like working with David Carradine?

Scott: That man owned a lot of great guitars. A visit to his house was like a walk around the Guitar Center. When David read the script, I hear that his first comment was, This is the story of my life, if I d been a musician instead of an actor which maybe I should have been. He was very funny, very wise. Forget how he passed out of this life. That wasn’t his life. He was David Carradine.

Iain: Have there been any important lessons you have learned as a writer that made a difference to your career?

Scott: The songwriter Harry Chapin once sent me a rejection letter. It said one thing: Keep writing. It was good advice.

Iain: If you could have any star in one of your movies, who would it be?

Scott: Edward Norton, Eva Green, Jeremy Davies, Maya Elliott, Ralph Fiennes, Joseph Fiennes, Emily Deschanel, Zooey Deschanel, Will Patton, Pell James, Viggo Mortensen, Mario Bello, Randall Batinkoff, Odette Yustman, Kenneth Branagh, and Kenneth Branagh. Did you say just one?

Iain: Is there any recent work of yours out there that you hope people will check out?

Scott: Yes, my comedy novel, Tuxes . It’s like James Michener’s ‘Hawaii’, Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’, and Alex Haley’s ‘Roots’, except it’s about a tuxedo mogul in Texas whose prehistoric ancestor is defrosted and inherits everything. A friend of mine, stand-up comic Phil Gordon, called it a slice of Americana. I’ll take that.

Fivelson’s satirical pieces and short stories have been featured in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Magazine, and Playboy, and his novel, Tuxes, a comic take on the classic rich-family saga, has been published in trade paperback by BeachSide Press, and as an eBook by Agora International eBooks. Tuxes is also has a French translation

“Tuxes is a revolutionary masterpiece!” – Jim Markunas of Chicks With Guns Magazine

Get a copy of Tuxes

Scott Fivelson is currently in pre-production on ‘Isle Of Men’, an anthology feature film comprised of 10 short stories in the psychological thriller genre, with romance and dark humor.

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