What is your name, company name, and URL?
Samuel Peirce, but I usually go by Sam. I write film reviews under the moniker Listener Sam at http://theoverlooktheatre.com/ and as an occasional guest contributor to Bloody Disgusting at https://bloody-disgusting.com/author/samuel-peirce/
What is your specialty: filmmaking or screenwriting? If filmmaking, which aspects?
Screenwriting for sure. I've shot a few shorts and plan to shoot more, but it's the writing and storytelling that appeals most to me.
What are you currently working on?
I'm currently sharing a feature-length horror western, SALT WEST. I'm also working on revisions on MESSIAH COMPLEX, another feature about a cult in an apartment complex. I'm also outlining another feature, THE CENOTE, about a honeymooning couple who become trapped in a Yucatan denote, and researching a historical piece. I like keeping a lot of irons in the fire. I get bored when I'm not telling stories.
Who do you consider your mentor and why?
Luis Camara (Writer/Director of Steel Trap, Silencio, and writer of You're Killing Me Susana) -- As a freshman in college, I took a course that he taught on Creative Storytelling. At that point, I was studying biology, and while I'd done some creative writing in the past, I'd never been introduced to the screenplay format. We bonded over a mutual appreciation for horror (including his own goofy flick, Steel Trap) and Luis taught me about screenwriting and sewed the seeds that grew into the passion I have now.
Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?
With regards to horror, I think taboo plays a major role in creating such a large and cohesive community. It's a genre that allows for films that are transgressive in a way that other genres aren't, and the films that get made tap into subject matter that's often unpleasant to talk about. Because of that taboo, horror fans and creators latch on to one another to share their love of topics that others don't as readily accept. I think sci-fi has a large following for similar reasons, but instead of being transgressive, it explores stories that can't exist in other genres by design.
What do you love most about this business?
The people. I'm normally a pretty introverted guy who'd rather spend his time somewhere isolated writing page-after-page than going to a social gathering, but without fail, I've found friendship and camaraderie at horror festivals. Seriously, horror filmmakers are the best.
What do you dislike most about this business?
The hustle. I'd much rather just spend my time writing and seeing people enjoy my work then have to split focus into marketing myself.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Earlier this year I optioned my screenplay THE SUBURBAN KALEIDOSCOPE.
Any advice you'd like to give to newbies?
Make writing a habit like showering or brushing your teeth. Write even if you don't want to write, and write even when what you write sucks. Eventually, you'll find the good stuff, and if you don't, don't be afraid to start over.
Anything else you'd like to say?
Thanks so much for the interview! If anyone wants to connect you can find me on twitter @samuel_peirce