In life you never know when you will be hit with inspiration or discover a passion which has been lying in wait. Sometimes it finds us in the most natural yet unexpected ways and other times it hits us with a ton of bricks. Either way you have to be prepared, especially with screenwriting. You can gleefully go all in and enjoy the adventure, or you can fight it tooth and nail to the bitter end. Rebecca has chosen to fully enjoy her path as a screenwriter. She understands the hurtles and difficulties that lie ahead and still she continues to march forward and enjoy every moment of her passion. This is why I am happy to introduce you to her.
This is Rebecca M. Gintz…
After graduating college and before I got my professional gig, I worked on a book with a college mate. We made an unlikely pair; she was an English major and I was a biology major. The book was a murder mystery. I didn’t finish the book with her because I didn’t like the tempo or the word usage; our styles were just too different to continue partnering. Not too long after that, I was offered a research position with a large company and I worked as a scientist for this company until I retired early nine years ago. Being a free agent now, I have the luxury to pursue some things that I didn’t have time to before.
I am what I call a ‘habitual storyteller’! I always have been. I used to entertain my mother by taking a situation and turning it into an elaborate standup routine. Just a tiny vignette of a situation would turn into a saga. As an example, some years back an old man in a Montgomery Ward store started up a conversation with me and my husband. He was as benign as they come, but before the end of the day I had written a whole story about him and the ‘what if’ side of this old man. Poor thing was made into a heinous creature in my story! I’ve done this for years. My first screenplay is based on a recurring nightmare that I had as a teenager. I’ve written it a million times over the years...in my head. I thought it would make a better movie than a book, so I enlisted the help of my daughter as my co-author and we wrote a screenplay about it.
Q: How did you stumble upon screenwriting?
I am an entrepreneur by nature so if something tickles my fancy I just go for it. My daughter Sarah and my husband Josh know this about me. They told me I should give writing a go because they both know how much I love to tell a good yarn! My mother also encouraged reading, writing and theatrics.
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Q: Who was the first person who believed in you?
I’d have to say that my husband Josh was the first person to suggest the idea of
me writing a screenplay. He told me years ago that he thought I should write down some of my movie/story ideas and then develop them further as time permitted. Now that I am retired, I had time to write so I wrote the screenplay with my kiddo.
Q: When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a screenwriter?
I knew screenwriting was for me the minute I sat down and started hammering out the words of my first project; it was like a flood gate had been opened. But the absolute moment was when I wrote a scene and I ‘creeped’ myself out! I remember feeling pretty good about that!
Q: How do you define success for yourself?
Success comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. For me, and setting money aside, success is taking a project and seeing it through to fruition. The day I completed my first screenplay was a huge success to me! So of course, I celebrated by popping open a bottle of champagne!
Q: Give us a typical day in your life:
My day usually begins around 6am with coffee. After hubby leaves for work I continue to watch the news and play on my phone until around 8am. Then I get the house back in order from the night before and head to my office around 9am. I don’t usually eat anything until around 10 or 11, then it’s likely going to be just an apple or some toast, Yeah Toast!
I love my weekends! One day is for rest and relaxation and the other is for adventure! We switch it up as to which day we will do what. We have recently taken up kayaking because our house is right down the road from a pretty large lake. We’re new, so we’ve only kayaked on our lake and the Snake River so far.
Q: How do you define a successful day?
If I can get my list of things to do done by the end of the day I’m a happy camper. I’ve had to learn to be kind to myself by not over scheduling my day and leaving time for my writing.
Q: What’s been the most important skill you've developed on your path to screenwriting?
Aside from learning how to properly format a screenplay (I’m still
honing this skill) I think learning how to tell a story in a punctuated fashion is the most challenging thing for me, considering I am a verbose person by nature.
Q: What’s been the greatest challenge in your writing so far?
Finding balance in my day can sometimes be a challenge because I find that once I sit down to write, if I get on a roll, I don’t want to quit. Contrary to that, there have been days where my creativity has taken a vacation! In the beginning I found this to be a bit daunting. Now I accept it as being an imagination respite.
Q: What’s been the greatest reward in the choices you've made?
Working with my daughter on our screenplay was nothing short of awesome! I’ve been super proud of her in the past but co-writing this screenplay with her is one of the absolute highlights of my life. She is so talented! She sticks to her guns when she needs to! Just perfect!
Q: What do you want to learn from a community of your peers?
I want to learn how to be a great wordsmith and screenplay writer from my peers. Setting the brass tacks of screenwriting aside, honest feedback is critical when you take on a project like this. I’d like to think of this as a learning adventure!