Screenwriter Paul Shoulberg started his writing career as a playwright. So, how did he go from writing plays in New York to living in the Midwest and writing a script about a man named Walter who is in charge of deciding who goes to heaven and hell?
Shoulberg started with a monologue. Just a few words on a page from the mouth of one character would become his first feature film. Sometimes the best way to begin a movie is with a character’s point of view. From there, Shoulberg wrote a short film and then that short film became a feature.
Notes on writing from Shoulberg:
- How to develop the rules in a fantastical story that deals with god, heaven and hell.
- How to stick by your indie project when everyone else wants you to write something more commercial.
- How much backstory do you give the audience? Should you dole out more information or hold back?
- How to use subtext to keep the audience intrigued.
- How living in the Midwest is better than New York or Los Angeles for creativity.
Walter co-stars Milo Ventimiglia (That’s My Boy, Heroes, Rocky Balboa), William H. Macy, Neve Campbell and Virginia Madsen. The film opens in Los Angeles and New York on March 13 and also on VOD.
ScreenwritingU sat down with Shoulberg to hear all the details on his first feature film.
Photo credit: Entertainment One Films