2018 & 2019 Screenplay Finalist
DG: What is your name and company URL?
TH: Travis Heermann. My author page is www.travisheermann.com
DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?
TH: At this point, screenwriting, but I’m hoping to produce and direct a short over the next year or so.
DG: Nice! What are you currently working on?
TH: Right now, all of my immediate projects are fiction. Just finished a novel edit, getting ready to start a new novel series, and doing some ghostwriting. I’m also percolating a script for the short film I’d like to make next year.
DG: Busy guy! Who do you consider your mentor and why?
TH: I have a few notable mentors, writers Kevin J. Anderson, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and James Artimus Owen. None have yet emerged on the filmmaking side, but I feel like I’m only beginning to venture into that.
DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?
TH: Because they allow people to step outside of the real world and experience things that are beyond their humdrum lives. In the case of horror in particular, it’s like riding a roller coaster. It’s scary, but you know you’re safe. You’re pretty sure you’ll leave the theater alive.
DG: What do you love most about this business?
TH: Right now, it is the companionship of passionate people. Filmmaking requires a level of drive, ambition, and determination that few other occupations can match. I hope soon to have the experience of watching one of my stories come to life on the screen, but that hasn’t happened yet.
DG: It will happen soon, don’t give up!! What do you dislike most about this business?
TH: How soul-crushing it can be. In the publishing industry, you will at least receive a rejection, even if it’s a form letter. The film industry doesn’t even offer that simple courtesy. This bleeds over into the general flakiness of so many people involved.
Me: *delivers a heartfelt pitch*
Rep: Oh, wow, that sounds amazing!
Me: So can I send it to you?
It all seems incredibly disingenuous, and makes me wonder how anyone accomplishes anything they didn’t do 100% themselves.
DG: It can be frustrating! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
TH: In screenwriting, it’s the awards my scripts have garnered this year. I have two super-cool trophies from GenreBlast and Crimson Screen Film Festival, and a cool plaque from the Famous Monsters Silver Scream Festival, and several other finalist placements to crow about. It encourages persistence.
DG: Congrats! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?
TH: As I’m still very much a newbie in the screenwriting/filmmaking realm, I don’t know that it would be worth much, except I am a professional author, so I know how a story works, and why. One of the deficiencies I see fairly often in film festival short films is a lack of understanding about what constitutes a story. Many times a short film is a just a vignette, or an intro. It doesn’t have a beginning, middle, and end, or sometimes it doesn’t have a plot that makes sense, or characters that feel real. I think this is why filmmaking is such a difficult art form. It requires SO MANY disparate skills.
DG: Anything else you’d like to say?
TH: If you’re a horror or sci-fi screenwriter, submit to Shriekfest. It’s a gem.
DG: Aww, thank you Travis! It was great chatting!