Filmmakers Glenn Pulliam and Shay Pulliam on “The Scenic Route”

Glenn Pulliam and Shay Pulliam – Screenwriters, Film Directors

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?

We are very appreciative of ISC for choosing our script to be a finalist. It is always a wonderful feeling to know people enjoy our work. We are very thankful to the competition for this honor.

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

Our script, The Scenic Route, is a drama set in the 1980’s about a kind man who allows his job to pull him away from his wife and daughter. After losing them in a horrific accident, he must deal with his deep regret and desire to go back in time to right his wrongs. He gets this chance when he ends up in an alternate Earth where his wife and daughter are still alive, however, there is an alternate version of himself there, as well, who happens to be a serial killer.

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

In addition to writing and directing our own short films, we have worked behind the scenes and on-set of many well-known Hollywood films, mainly in the art and practical special effects departments. Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron began their careers in much the same capacity and our hope is to follow their example and reach our ultimate goals in the industry as full-time writers and filmmakers.

NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?

We have written many short scripts for ourselves as well as others in different genres. Additionally, we have several features completed with many more in the works.

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

  1. Of course, we must mention our most current script, The Scenic Route.
  2. Working with Kurt Russell on the set of Poseidon. He is such a gentleman and a top rate actor. It was a joy to watch him work on set.
  3. Writing our first co-written script together years ago which began our personal relationship that resulted in our long-standing marriage.

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

We enjoy writing scripts that deal with the duality of humans. We find the best characters show both the good and bad in human nature. We also wish to work on a few established properties that we grew up with, as well as our own original stories. We want to write scripts that others will love as much as we do.

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

Building characters is one of our favorite parts of writing screenplays. If you can create a character that others can identify with, then you have something great. When writing, think to yourself about what that character feels, thinks, fears, loves, etc., as well as what their flaws and strengths are. If you can find those same qualities in yourself in some aspect, then you are on the right track. If you cannot identify with a character you are writing, you probably should change your character. Because if you cannot understand that character, then your audience won’t either.

NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?

Currently, we are working on two scripts.

One is a drama set around Halloween. We noticed that many holiday dramas are set during Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, etc., but very few non-scary drama films are set around Halloween. So, we wanted to write one ourselves.

Our second one is an ensemble action film with supernatural qualities added. We grew up with the monsters of the 80’s and who wouldn’t love a great monster film with some kickass action?

In addition to the above two scripts, we are also working on expanding our “universe” where many of our stories and characters exist and can branch out into many screenplays based on that universe. We enjoy world building.

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

We both have art degrees, and we do sculpture in our spare time. However, being story-creators, we tend to give our sculptures their own stories which we end up writing into short scripts. Some have even made it into feature screenplays.

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

The best advice we can give, if you want to be a screenwriter, is to write whenever you can. Even if you work 40 hours a week, go to school full time, have a family, and only get 30 minutes a week to yourself, use those 30 minutes to write. Even if you only get a paragraph a week written, it is still something, and before you know it you have a completed screenplay.

Also, watch interviews of some of your favorite writers/filmmakers. They usually have some great advice in them. All the ones who have “made it” started somewhere and they each dealt with rejection, struggles, and successes early in their careers. Learn from them as much as you can. Additionally, if you are able to, take a writing course or if you are unable to do that there are many books and videos on the subject to help you learn story structure and writing format.

The last bit of advice… look around our world. There are so many inspirations for story ideas out there. Humans are such wonderful beings, and we all have stories inside us wanting to get out.

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