Writer, Producer Edward Janis Gusts on “The Healed”

Edward Janis Gusts, Writer / Producer

NY Elite: Congratulations on being an ISC finalist. What does it mean for your work to be selected at the International Screenwriting Competition in New York?

Edward Janis Gusts: It’s truly validating. In the past I have self-produced everything that I have written, so I could never be sure if things worked because of the writing, or in spite of it. To have a script be so well received on the merits of the writing alone is a wonderful feeling.

NY Elite: Can you tell us about the work that you participated with at ISC? What is the story about?

Edward Janis Gusts: THE HEALED is an exploration of the dark side of trying to improve humans. The lead character is a government scientist who is forced to give his daughter an experimental treatment in order to save her life after an accident, with monstrous results.

NY Elite: Can you tell us yourself and your artistic talents?

Edward Janis Gusts: I started my career as an actor and started acting in a lot of indie films. I started writing scenes for acting purposes and found that I loved it. When I had the opportunity to get a script of mine made, I jumped at the opportunity and produced it. Generally, I did a lot of things that I wasn’t qualified to do, but was surrounded by so many capable wonderful people that things worked out anyway. It seems that my favorite work comes out of those kind of situations. I had never submitted my scripts to any sort of competition before now, and here I am a finalist amongst all of these amazing writers. It’s both thrilling and intimidating.

NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?

Edward Janis Gusts: I co-wrote STAINED (2019) which I produced and is currently available on Amazon. The next feature RIDGECREST is currently in production. And like most writers, I have various unreleased scripts which I still keep around to salvage for parts.

NY Elite: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?

Edward Janis Gusts: Last year I acted in the Pilot for DIE PRETTY produced by Ninety90 Pictures which was not only wonderful to shoot, but the company focuses on working with people in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.

STAINED was the first feature that I produced so it holds a special place in my heart

Edward Janis Gusts: And finally RIDEGECREST. It’s not finished yet, but pushing the boundaries of what I can do with all of the constraints built into the film is truly satisfying.

NY Elite: What type of scripts do you want to write in your career?

Edward Janis Gusts: I’m not sure if there is a type of script that I want to write. I often write scripts that have a different point of view than my own. Some address the dark side of things that I am excited about, some humanize characters that I would perceive as monsters. The main thing is to get the audience to examine their own beliefs, while giving them an entertaining story.

NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?

Edward Janis Gusts: Characters must have their own point of view. There must be more to them than meets the eye. I think it’s most important in the supporting characters. It’s easy to flesh out the hero and the villain, but the bank teller or the mom with the screaming toddler in the store are people in their own right; and a good script treats them as more than cardboard cut outs.

NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?

Edward Janis Gusts: I’m filming RIDGECREST which will be released this year, after that I guess I’m going to produce THE HEALED.

NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?

Edward Janis Gusts: I paint and play guitar. It’s relaxing to make art that can be completed in an hour.

NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking/writing?

Edward Janis Gusts: Don’t wait for permission. Write today. Film something tomorrow. You learn by doing. Thanks.

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