Andrew James Carter is a UK screenwriter and winner of the 2010 Scriptapalooza international screenwriting competition. Aside from scriptwriting, Andrew is currently completing his doctoral thesis in astrophysics and, most likely, procrastinating on the internet. He has recently developed a tragic predilection for writing about himself in the third-person.
What training have you received?
None, I’m afraid to say. I’m sure film school would have been a fantastic experience, but I’d already started down the road of scientific research before realising I’d much rather be a writer. I’ve written fiction (of wildly varying quality—mostly from bad to worse) throughout my life, but I fell in love with screenwriting three years ago and haven’t looked back. Since then, everything I’ve needed to learn has been gleaned from books and the internet.
What themes do you like to explore in your work?
I focus on identity a lot—how people view themselves and the contrast with how the world perceives them. I also like to play around with moral grey areas. My characters rarely find themselves presented with a black-and-white choice— it’s up to them to figure out the lesser of two (or more) evils.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a writer?
Write. And don’t stop until it’s done. It’s easy to make excuses and to find ways of convincing yourself you’re working, when really you’re just avoiding the blank page. Research, planning, outlining: it all helps, of course, but ultimately you’ve got to write the actual script. And the whole script, at that. Anyone can start writing a screenplay, it’s finishing that counts.
Tell us the significant moment of your career so far.
Without a doubt: winning Scriptapalooza. I never expected to win, but that success has opened so many doors for me—both at home and abroad. It’s given me much more confidence in my writing as well. It’s more than just a dream now; writing has become a tangible career.
You’ll die happy when…
…the credits roll on my first feature film. Though, of course, I’d rather live beyond that and write a few dozen more. And then some more. And then… can we just omit the whole ‘dying’ thing altogether? That’d be great. ‘I’ll live forever happily when…’ No? Also, I’d be a happy immortal if people would stop telling me I look like Prince Harry.
www.andrewjamescarter.com / @carter_andrewj