Added on September 12, 2019
After an prolonged hiatus, and in depth requests from screenwriters such as you, Artistic Screenwriting Magazine relaunched its dormant screenwriting contest in 2018. As expected, we confronted the daunting process of studying, and rereading, the finalists’ screenplays until we needed to vote on a winner. That winner was Jack Matosian together with his comedy script Ice Saki. In case you have been wondering, our like (or dislike) of saki bore zero affect in our voting course of. Chicago-domiciled Jack spoke with us to debate his path to screenwriting victory.
What inspired the thought for Ice Saki?
A number of years ago, I went to a Chicago Blackhawks hockey recreation with some pals and as I’m watching the action down on the ice, I stated, “Why doesn’t a staff put a sumo wrestler in objective? He’d in all probability take up every inch of area they usually’re good athletes. No one might get a puck past him.” Everyone just laughed, however that thought served because the inspiration for the screenplay.
What if a hockey workforce truly did convey a sumo wrestler in to play goalie?
Ice Saki showcases what occurs to a close-knit sports activities group when an outsider – on this case from a unique country, a special sport, and a unique culture — is out of the blue thrust into their midst. Subsequently, basic sports-themed comedies like Main League and Slapshot definitely have been influences, as have been iconic fish-out-of-water films like Beverly Hills Cop and Crocodile Dundee.
Beginning with the concept of “sumo wrestler as hockey goalie,” my subsequent step was to figure out whose story I used to be telling and what his or her story was going to be. I decided early on that the sumo wrestler, whereas he was a key character, was not my protagonist. I needed somebody to whom more individuals might easily relate. So, I ended up choosing the longtime gear supervisor, who unexpectedly inherits the workforce when the owner dies during another dropping season.
However what was the story I needed to tell? After a substantial amount of thought, I made a decision to write down about what occurs to an peculiar one that is abruptly thrust into a unprecedented state of affairs. How does a blue-collar, single dad of a teenaged son reply when he unexpectedly turns into the proprietor of a minor league hockey group? A staff that nobody — media, gamers, coaches, fans, his household or he, himself — thinks that he is certified to run?
As soon as I knew who my protagonist was and the story that I needed to tell, the subsequent step was to stipulate my screenplay, determining where I needed the story to start out, where I needed it to end, and what the important thing plot factors have been going to be along the best way. Who have been the other key characters, what have been the relationships, and how did this move the story from beginning to end?
From that time on, it was merely a whole lot of writing, together with coverage from individuals who might present me with brutally trustworthy, knowledgeable, and actionable feedback. Ultimately, this process resulted in Ice Saki being named the Grand Prize Winner within the 2018 Artistic Screenwriting Screenplay Contest.
Describe the fashion of comedy of Ice Saki
In all of my screenplays, I try and create conditions that aren’t only funny, however that additionally enhance the story or present insight into my characters. As one example, there’s a scene in Ice Saki the place the grizzled, veteran goalie is enjoyable in the whirlpool, eyes closed, having fun with an invigorating therapeutic massage. That is, till it sinks in that a massage isn’t customary within the workforce whirlpool. He opens his eyes and he’s horrified to see that the massage is being administered by the sumo wrestler. The veteran is indignant on the violation of his personal area. The sumo wrestler is embarrassed that his show of respect to the senior player has backfired. It’s a humorous scene that also serves to exhibit the marked difference between the tradition of hockey and the tradition of sumo, a serious theme within the screenplay.
What analysis did you do for the screenplay?
Most of my analysis centered on the sport of Japanese sumo wrestling, which I knew little or no about prior to scripting this screenplay. But the extra I came upon, the higher it was for my story. The hierarchical tradition of sumo, where youthful wrestlers don’t question the judgment of their secure masters and are humbly subservient to the higher-ranked wrestlers, served as a pleasant contrast to the perceived “me-first” angle of many professional athletes right here within the U.S. and Canada.
The primary message of Ice Saki is that to achieve success in life, typically it’s worthwhile to step outdoors of your consolation zone and take risks. Nobody else might consider in you, and you could topic yourself to ridicule, but you could consider in yourself and pursue the course of action that you simply deem applicable. It might or might not work out, however you possibly can at the least take consolation in the truth that you probably did what you thought was right. Many people may assume that they possess the braveness and fortitude to react accordingly when required. I wrote Ice Saki to prompt viewers to think about whether or not they might act equally to my protagonist, the sumo wrestler and different characters who are confronted with such decisions throughout the story.
What have been probably the most troublesome points of scripting this screenplay?
The toughest thing for me was to put in writing a sports activities comedy that wasn’t formulaic. The story of a group that “must win the large recreation” is bordering on cliché, so I was continuously conscious that writing Ice Saki required a recent tackle a well-known tale. The opposite massive situation I confronted was writing a narrative that was as real looking as potential. Bringing in a sumo wrestler as a hockey goalie might have played out as a farce, which was not my intent. I needed viewers to consider that this story truly might occur in the best way that I advised it.
How many drafts did you write and how did each draft turn into better?
I wrote 4 main drafts, with several revisions alongside the best way. After each main draft, I sent the screenplay out for protection to an business professional I had gotten to know and respect. In fact, I was glad to hear when one thing was working nicely, however even more essential was the feedback I acquired on issues that weren’t working. If I agreed with a specific evaluation, I might contemplate one of the simplest ways to make the change, with out compromising the screenplay’s general theme. Each draft improved by tightening scenes, making certain that the motion and dialog have been greatest serving the story I used to be finally making an attempt to inform.
Have been there any scenes you eliminated and why?
In my initial draft I had a scene towards the top of the screenplay where the sumo wrestler demonstrates his new-found independence by saying that he was leaving the group and returning to Japan. I made a decision to take away this scene because it was a dagger in the coronary heart of the staff chemistry that had taken so lengthy to construct, and which had culminated in their successful comeback. I found one other method to reveal that the sumo wrestler had discovered learn how to make his personal decisions, without necessitating his departure.
Outdoors of writing, what evokes your creativity?
Studying, exercising and listening to music.
Mockingly, I learn virtually solely non-fiction, notably books about historical past and psychology. Reading about events which have shaped our world and the way individuals acted or reacted all through historical past will get my artistic juices flowing. Likewise, understanding how individuals assume and what makes them act the best way they do serves as inspiration for a way my characters act in my screenplays.
As for exercise, I find bike rides to be a good way to loosen up and clear my head. There are a number of well-maintained bike paths close to where I reside that present a nice escape. But as a result of I stay within the Chicago space, biking is restricted to about half the yr, so I additionally personal a rowing machine. Not fairly the identical surroundings, but nonetheless a pleasant solution to blow off some steam. And I take pleasure in listening to music while I write. Hearing familiar songs that I really like relaxes me, which boosts my creativity.
How do you keep inspired in this business?
I feel it helps to have the attitude that writing something good might not essentially be ok. Any person has to love what you’ve written and consider that it may end up in a worthwhile film. And that someone needs to be able to get your screenplay produced or get it into the palms of somebody who can.
Subsequently, I only write screenplays that imply one thing to me. I have to have a personal curiosity in what I’m writing about. So, that if a script by no means will get produced, no less than I hopefully enjoyed the method of writing it. On the similar time, I am particularly writing screenplays to see them made into films that audiences need to see. Along the best way, affirmation from individuals within the business, including the Artistic Screenwriting Screenplay Contest, keeps me motivated.
What is occurring with Ice Saki now?
Discussions are ongoing, but, as of proper now, I am still in search of to finalize a cope with the fitting associate to deliver Ice Saki to the display.
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