Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Questionnaire (Tom Mickel & John Ravitz)

Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Questionnaire (Tom Mickel & John Ravitz)

(Jordan Bonn)

By Jen B.

Finalist Questionnaire:

Tom Mickel & John Ravitz

Tom Mickel

What’s your name and where are you from?

Tom Mickel – California, by way of Washington DC and Phoenix

What’s the title of your screenplay?

ELF RACER

What’s the logline and how did you come up with the concept for your screenplay?

A surprise incident at the North Pole’s Derby Race throws a shy teenage Elf into a wild adventure. Battling Wolves – Rustlers – Killer Whales, he must first learn to believe in himself in order to survive. Aided by a spirited Elf girl, they race against a ticking clock to save Christmas.

Concept: Story genesis is derived from my Dad placing Hay outside each Christmas Eve

for Santa’s Reindeer – “They need more than apples” – he was a great storyteller… Tell us about your history as a screenwriter. Where did your journey begin?

I was fascinated by screenplays and the incredible journey they take to become films. Writing was a hobby for me until I challenged myself to sit down and write Elf Racer. (now I’m hooked)

Read Also: Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist Questionnaire (Brad Perrott & Benjamin Sarno)

What motivates you to be a screenwriter or filmmaker?

This story has been with me for years and I thought the best way to share it was as an animated film for kids from 1 to 92. Completing the Elf Trilogy is the next adventure.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered as a screenwriter and filmmaker?

Getting through the maze of having your material read by the right executives.

What’s the most important thing you want audiences to take away when watching your

films or reading your screenplays.

That you can’t give up, you must believe and push forward to reach your goal.

Ideally, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Screening the Elf Trilogy films at the North Pole with Santa and his team.

What’s your favorite film of all time? If you can’t single out a film, give us your top 3. Ratatouille, How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Parasite (sorry 5)

What’s your earliest favorite childhood movie?

Fantasia

Who’s your favorite cinema hero?

Almost anything with Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep

John Ravitz

Whats your name and where are you from?

John Ravitz, Pelham, New York

Whats the title of your screenplay?

The Wrong Candidate-Pilot”

Whats the logline and how did you come up with the concept for your screenplay?

A well financed terrorist organization has trained operatives since they were children; when they finally have a viable candidate to run for president, the current president sets into motion a plan to put his own successor into the Oval Office. I am a former New York State elected official. My 30 years of political experience helped me form many aspects of the story.

Tell us about your history as a screenwriter. Where did your journey begin?

The “Wrong Candidate” was the first screenplay that I wrote. I stated writing it three years ago. I have always been a movie and TV Greek. At age 56, I started writing, and I haven’t stopped.

What motivates you to be a screenwriter or filmmaker?

I love the idea of being able to tell a story to an audience that will keep them engaged and invested in the character’s journeys.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered as a screenwriter and filmmaker?

Learning to write a screenplay at my age was a challenge. Learning the proper screenplay formatting was key. Also being able to create dialogue that is fresh and unique without being “on the nose” was an important lesson that I continue to focus on.

Whats the most important thing you want audiences to take away when watching your films or reading your screenplays.

My hope is that audiences will be engaged in the characters that I have created and that their individual voices stay with them.

Ideally, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I want to continue writing and hopefully have some of my work in production.

Whats your favorite film of all time? If you cant single out a film, give us your top 3.

The Godfather, To Kill a Mockingbird and Rocky.

Whats your earliest favorite childhood movie?

To Sir with Love.

Whos your favorite cinema hero?

Rocky Balboa

Whos your personal hero?

My family, my wife and four children.

Who’s your personal hero?

My KIDS navigating through the Covid pandemic and almost anyone willing to stand up against oppression and bigotry.

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