Philip Sedgwick has written more than 30 screenplays over the last 20 years.
Finally, after all these years, one of them is heading into production.
Sedgwick, 59, earned a writing credit on the thriller "Thorns from a Rose," about a murderous mental patient played by Byron Browne. Vivica A. Fox has a supporting role. Sedgwick said the film should head into production later this year in Phoenix and Northern Arizona.
It will be distributed by Strategic Film Partners, which has handled a slew of independent releases.
Sedgwick's screenplay "Kate" placed third at last weekend's Flagstaff Film Festival, competing among a field of 35 scripts. And he took second place earlier this year at the Independent Short Film and Music Arts Festival in Long Beach, Calif., for his short screenplay, "The Tie." Neither has been made into a movie.
"Kate" is a tale of an environmentally conscious Everglades ranger who is stuck with a greedy real estate developer during a hurricane, and how the characters bond through the disaster.
Sedgwick, who is originally from Massachusetts, studied at the University of Hawaii and moved to Tucson in October 2008 to be with his significant other. Sedgwick says his day job is running the astrology website philipsedgwick.com, where he solicits donations.
What was it like to do so well in the contest?
"It's always a thrill to find out that you've placed well in a competition. It's one of those things that lets you know you're trekking along on the right path. When you've entered a contest, the waiting is unbearable. Hearing such great news is so elevating to your spirit and a fabulous relief and cause for celebration."
Describe the process for writing "Kate."
"First you need an idea. This story idea came to me while watching hurricane coverage on the Weather Channel. Then it's time to map out the 'beats' or steps of action that the story takes as it unfolds, making sure you have enough dramatic elements, compassion for the protagonist and a successful resolution. Then, you sit down and bang it out. This script took nearly two years to write, start to finish."
What are your career ambitions?
"An Academy Award would be nice. I'd like to get a half-dozen to a dozen movies in the can within the next decade. Then kick back and talk about stories and script writing with those wanting to learn and share my stories to keep others inspired and enthused about following their creative passion, whatever it might be."
Will you stay in Tucson or move on eventually?
"Tucson is a great place, quirky and rich in cultural gems if you seek them out. I wouldn't mind having a second place in Santa Fe, a city I think is absolutely amazing. Love the creative energy there."
What advice do you have for other screenwriters?
"Write as often as possible. At least three times a week. Stay focused."
How did "Thorns from a Rose" come about?
"Actually, I was brought on board as a fresh pair of eyes and was hired to rewrite the original script. This came about because I was scouring the Hollywood Reporter for Arizona productions.
"I saw the script listed, fired off an e-mail and we met, chatted and did some work together. It's really their script, myself being a hired hand."
What's your next project?
"I'm finishing an environmentally themed script to submit to an environmentally based film festival. After that, I'll be finishing a dramedy in progress based upon mythological archetypes recently reintroduced to our culture. This last project has an amazing title - sorry, that has to stay under my cap until it's done - and an Academy Award flavor."
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