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Interview with Christan van Slyke

Christan van Slyke is a multi international award winning, optioned screenwriter/producer based in the Dallas, Fort Worth, TX area. She got her film industry start in Seattle in 2008 and earned her Master Screenwriting Certification through Gotham School for Writers in 2010. She is currently represented by Tammie Smith with Smith International Productions based in Florida and David Rubini based in Texas and London. She has multiple optioned works in development, such as the upcoming award winning Post Apocalyptic Thriller, Watchdogs, the dark comedy High Stakes and the Romantic Comedy, Not in a Million Years, among many others. Some of her latest writings in development include Zac Met a Girl, En Plein Soleil and A Favorable Outcome. 

Imdb Page: imdb.me/Christanvanslyke
 

1. Can you tell us how you got your start in the film industry? 

I have always had a special affinity for film, growing up. So while living in Seattle in 2008, I decided to get involved in film production. I started out by joining several, various production teams on multiple short films. I tried out a variety of positions from writing, AD, script supervising, set decorating, casting, to costume designing, and others, attempting to find what fits me best. I was unsure where my home in the film world was until I worked on the production of The Details (Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta). Through this experience on set as a set PA, I learned not only the ropes on set, but I also learned that I wanted to primarily be a writer! 

2. Can you tell us who or what inspires you and your stories as a writer?

I draw inspiration from many things and people in my life. The person that truly inspired me to be a screenwriter was actually, M. Night Shayamalan. He continues to be an inspiration to this day, but now I also draw inspiration, not only from my beloved family but things that happen in my daily life. Many of my story ideas have often come from dreams as well. 

3. What can you tell us about any upcoming productions? 

I do have many projects in development and pre production currently. I am blessed and excited to see forward movement with them all! Currently the top interest projects seem to be the upcoming award winning Post Apocalyptic Thriller, Watchdogs, and Romantic Comedy Not in a Million Years, which are both set to be produced by Smith International Productions, along with some shorts currently in production with Sandra Williams and All Dog Entertainment, such as Glitch, D After C and Coffee & Do Overs. There is a couple of links below for you to check them out! 

Not in a Million Years:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10431796/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
 

Watchdogs: https://www.imdb.com/find?q=watchdogs&ref_=nv_sr_sm
 

Glitch: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14474366/?ref_=nm_flmg_prd_30
 

D After C; https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10223626/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

 

4. What is your favorite and least favorite genre to write in? 

I don't have a favorite persay. I enjoy exploring all genres except for horror, personally. I love the post apocalyptic thriller and psychological thriller genres, but straight horror has never appealed to me much. I do however, really enjoy writing the dark comedy and fantasy type genres the most. 

5. Who are some people in the film industry you would love to work with one day? 

I have such a love and respect for so many in the industry, it would be difficult to come up one favorite. Here is a short list of several inspirations that come to mind for various reasons: Cillian Murphy, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Daniel Day-Lewis, M Night Shayamalan, Christopher Nolan, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Emily Blunt, James McAvoy, Christian Bale... honestly I could go on and on. 

6. What do you do in your free time, when you're not writing or producing?

Spending time with my family or chatting with friends. My loved ones are my world and I am so grateful for each of them. I also enjoy exercising daily, cooking, and staying healthy in general, keeping my family healthy. I also enjoy watching new flicks and TV Shows. 

7. You mentioned watching new shows. What are some of your favorites? 

That list could go on and on forever, but some of my all time favorite shows, I consider go tos are: Gilmore Girls, The Office, Peaky Blinders, Prison Break... Recently, I really loved the new Shadow and Bone series, Yellowstone, The Witcher and Ginny & Georgia. I enjoy a variety of shows.

8. What advice would you give an aspiring writer? 

Develop a routine that works for you and stick to it, otherwise those amazing projects you want to see produced will not get done. It all starts with the script! A good script is the blueprint for any successful film. Celebrate the little steps of progress. Some days I can write 20+ pages, and others are a bit more challenging and only a few get written. Progress is progress, no matter how small. So be sure to celebrate those little things and stick with who you are as a writer, (your beliefs, morals, etc.)  

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