2021 Screenplay Finalist "Children of Metal"
What is your name, company name, and URL?
My name is Geoffrey Prather.
What is your specialty: filmmaking or screenwriting? If filmmaking, which aspects?
I do both! I've primarily been a screenwriter since moving to Los Angeles and getting my MFA from Chapman University but I also direct and produce. I recently finished a short film called A Mind Cannot Touch and have been submitting to film festivals.
What are you currently working on?
In addition to submitting to fests, I have a TV pilot that is a finalist at the Nashville Film Festival and is a 2nd rounder in Austin Film Festival. While waiting to hear back about other competitions, I'm working on a sci-fi feature and producing a short.
Who do you consider your mentor and why?
My two primary mentors were professors of mine at Chapman—Ron Friedman (who was instrumental in creating Transformers and G.I. Joe) and Paul Wolansky. Both are incredible at teaching the fundamentals of screenwriting and helping guide your vision to something that translates to an audience.
Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?
Because it's fun! Also, I think with those genres you can approach big themes and topics in a direct way that doesn't work as well in other genres. Plus, horror is extremely visceral and primal.
What do you love most about this business?
Creation and collaboration! By far my favorite place to be is on a film set surrounded by like-minded collaborators working toward the common goal of making a great film, short or TV episode that speaks to people in an emotional way.
What do you dislike most about this business?
Well, like most people I don't like a lot of the politics and nepotism in the industry. I also dislike how despite being such a collaborative medium there doesn't seem to be much desire from established industry veterans to truly help others. I wish there was more transparency and clearer pathways for everyone to gain a foothold in the business.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Optioning my TV pilot, Children of Metal (a finalist at Shriekfest!), and then pitching it to Netflix was a big one! Also, writing, directing and producing my short film A Mind Cannot Touch was a big accomplishment that I'm very proud to call my own.
Any advice you'd like to give to newbies?
Try not to get discouraged by the amount of rejection you'll receive. Shorts, features, pilots etc. are all incredibly difficult to get made and most people will look for the slightest reason to tell you no. So, I'd recommend focusing on creating things that you can feel proud of and not focus on external validation as a measure of your success.
Anything else you'd like to say?
Try to have fun with this! At the end of the day, we're creating and collaborating in one of the most diverse and rewarding mediums that exist. Take time to soak it in.