BlueCat: Why did you start writing screenplays?
Bob Cousins: I have always had an interest in making up stories and I have many failures in writing for other media to show for it. I stumbled upon screenwriting when I was supposed to be playwriting as part of my MA. My advisor’s interest in film and screenwriting helped steer me in this direction. As a lifelong movie fan, it should have been a natural step, but it wasn’t.
BlueCat: What is your highest screenwriting goal for yourself?
BC: Ultimately, I would like to work as a professional writer. As with most screenwriters, I would love to have one of my scripts made into a feature film. Caveat emptor.
BlueCat: What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?
BC: Dialogue! It is often problematic and takes many, many rewrites. Keeping subtext in emotionally charged dialogue is always a challenge.
BlueCat: What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?
BlueCat: What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?
BC: I usually create pretty original concepts. I have written across many different genres and have written scripts set in every decade since the 1950’s.
BlueCat: Do you feel that screenwriting is different in your country than it is in Hollywood? If so, how?
BC: Yes and no. There is a dynamic Canadian film industry, both in English and in French, that works independent of, and alongside, Hollywood (which considers Canada as part of the domestic box office) films which dominate the Canadian market. There are government grants and incentives available to some in the Canadian film industry. Many Canadian filmmakers choose to create films that are dissimilar to mainstream Hollywood, in the same manner that many American “indie” filmmakers do. There are many talented Canadians who are an integral part of Hollywood filmmaking and my career goal is to be one of them.
BlueCat: What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?
BC: My most recent script, Blood Red Moon. The first draft was written under unfavorable circumstances and it was an overly long, directionless mess. My recent rewrite brought some order to the disorder and in it, I found the story that I had originally intended. It is still very much a work in progress but a huge improvement over the first draft.
P.S. I am very grateful for BlueCat. Over the years, I have submitted many different scripts and I have used the valuable input from your readers to make my scripts better. Often, I have not agreed with their initial assessment but as I rewrite the script, I usually discover how perceptive their comments were and this contest has become an integral part of my script writing process.