Watch the Video Pitch Logline for STATE SECRET:
Get to know writer Doug Kissock:
1. What is the theme of your story?
Politics is a dirty business; one where perception is everything. It’s more important to be seen to be on the winning side than to be right. But whose side is right? Whose agenda can you trust? Where does the truth lay?
2. Why do people need to know about your story?
Because it’s inspired, in part, but a vein of truth. Everybody loves a good paranoid thriller — whether it’s THE PARALLAX VIEW, ENEMY OF THE STATE or THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, we all root for the innocent hero battling overwhelming odds and attempting to solve the mystery of the conspiracy itself. But every so often, people need to be reminded that from time to time, some conspiracy theories are rooted in truth. And as we all know — truth can be stranger than fiction…
3. How long have you been writing stories?
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
The Usual Suspects
5. What artists would you love to work with?
Robert Redford. Donnie & Mark Wahlberg. Antoine Fuqua. Peter Jackson. Roland Emmerich. Peter Dinklage. Halle Berry. Erica Tazel. Chris Hemsworth. Will Smith. Kevin Spacey and several hundred others.
6. How many stories have you written?
Not sure… 30?
7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
Somewhere hot and dry with a glass of something cold!
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
No. No set routine but I prefer to write at night when the world is quiet. But I always write my main character into corners and then write myself/him/her out of those corners. That way I think the narrative becomes less predictable and more illustrative of the main character’s resolve and resources. I think it is possible (and destructive) to overplan a story in the same way a racing driver can overdrive a car. Sometimes the seat of yer pants and yer gut instinct are the best controls you can have.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Landscape photography. Music. And dogs! John Lennon (I think) said something like, “God is dog backwards,” and I so agree. Dogs are a gift to enrich all our lives. They offer unconditional love and trust so don’t betray them by mistreating them.
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival?
I thought it was a great idea. Fresh. Unique and a great use of technology.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Two things: write what motivates you. If it’s important to you — tell us all. Don’t write a clone of a superhero movie or a romcom just because of the box office success of the original. Tell us about something that makes you mad. Makes you passionate. Makes you cry with joy. Or makes us feel fear, curiosity, excitement, guilt or disgust. Just make sure it makes us feel something. And secondly: first drafts are always weak. Always. If the art of good writing is re-writing, then prepare to go through 6 – 8 drafts before it starts to take shape. Seriously. If you don’t have the patience/dedication or enthusiasm — don’t start draft one because you’ll just be wasting your time. And time is life’s most valuable resource.