The Road to Yorkton 2012: Introducing CSSC Finalist B.D. Flory

B.D. Flory, BD Flory, bdflory

B.D. Flory is one of 13 nominees for this year’s Canadian Short Screenplay Competition’s Top Prize: The Writers Block Crystal.

CSSC Founder, David Cormican, had a chance to catch up with B.D. before the big night and ask him about the experience, his script and what’s up next.

Q: What is the name of your nominated screenplay?
A: Cells.
Q: Can you tell people in 50 words or less what it is all about?
A: It’s about obsession — you can overcome it, but the damage may already be done. Here’s the fun version: A scholar obsessed with an obscure femme fatale uncovers her fate and the horrific secret history of Hollywood, but his search endangers his marriage, his career, and his life.
Q: Do you remember where you were when you first got the strike of genius/flash of inspiration to write it? Where was that? And could you write it immediately, or did it take a long time?
A: As is often the case, I was brainstorming a solution to a story problem on another project. The elements that make up Cells didn’t turn out to be that solution, but there was enough there for a short, and maybe more someday. As soon as I finished the other project, I wrote Cells in day, let it rest for a week, then revised it in another day.
Q: How did you find out about the CSSC? And what made you decide to enter?
A: It was recommended to me by a mentor, but at the time, I only had full length material — TV specs and a feature. It wasn’t until the next year that I first submitted, and it wasn’t until the year after that I made a showing — Cells is a finalist, and Belly Roll made it as far as the “Top 50′ish.” I’m either getting better or getting luckier. I suppose both is too much to hope for.
Q: Has your script (or any other scripts of yours), placed in any other festivals or competitions? (please list)
A: My first feature-length screenplay, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” placed as a semi-finalist in both the Slamdance Screenplay Competition and Creative Screenwriting Magazine’s AAA Screenplay Competition.
Q: What does it mean for you and your career to be a Top 13 Finalist in the CSSC?
A: Another stack of chips on the roulette board. The entertainment industry is a numbers game, and when that wheel spins, the more chips you have spread out on the board, the better the odds your number comes up. On a personal note, 13 is kind of a lucky number — my first date with my wife was on Friday the 13th!
Q: Has any of your work ever been produced? (please list)
A: Another of my short scripts, “Dog-Eared,” was produced at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, thanks to a generous grant from the program. Josh Tate, the film’s director, put a great cast and crew together, and we were fortunate enough to screen it at the Director’s Guild in Los Angeles just a couple of weeks ago.
Q: What is your favourite short film of all time?
A: Duck Amuck, one of the greats to emerge from the Chuck Jones years at Warner Brothers Cartoons. Daffy Duck is tormented by an unseen force, eventually revealed to be a sadistic animator. Even though I saw it at a very young age, it taught me one of the first lessons I learned about storytelling: put your characters through as much hell as you can in the time you have.
Q: Who is your favourite (screen)writer or author? Why?
A: William Gibson, author of the seminal Neuromancer, a foundational book in the cyberpunk movement. He’s become less and less of a science fiction author over the years, as reality draws nearer and nearer to the future he imagined.
Q: What is your favourite word in the English language?
A: Yes.
Q: What is your favourite word in any language?
A: Aletheia — Heidigger complicates it quite a bit, but the original meaning, from the Greek, is disclosure, truth. A coming forth of the essence of a thing. Heidigger’s take is that it’s a beginning, but not yet truth — a process. As a writer, I generally think of myself as a craftsman, but when I’m feeling artistic, this hits home.
Q: Do you have any advice for other writers who may be considering entering the CSSC next year?
A: You don’t have many pages to work with, so boil it down to essential elements. Develop interesting characters in a unique setting — imagined or real. Story flows naturally from the characters’ collisions with each other and their world.

About David Cormican

DAVID CORMICAN is an award winning blogger (2010 Canadian Weblog Award winner – best literature & writing category), father, performer, producer and founder of the prestigious Canadian Short Screenplay Competition (CSSC), an organization he formed to showcase and promote emerging screenwriters through recognition and the production of their winning work. In 2010 Cormican was a nominee for the Regina Mayor’s Arts & Business Award for Innovation in the Arts and a recipient of the National Screen Institute’s Drama Prize. In addition to establishing the CSSC's Short Film Fund, he is also a partner with Minds Eye Entertainment where he is in charge of development for the production company’s feature film, television and branded content. Recent producing credits include THE TALL MAN (Jessica Biel) and FACES IN THE CROWD (Milla Jovavich, Julian McMahon) for Minds Eye and RUSTED PYRE (Brooke Palsson, Samantha Somer Wilson) and MINUS LARA (a Bravo!FACT funded short starring Romina D’Ugo) for the CSSC. He is a board member for Regina Downtown Business Improvement District, a counselor for ACTRA Saskatchewan and board member representing the arts portfolio for SaskCulture. He also sits on various committees for SaskFilm, SMPIA and the Canadian Media Producers Association.
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