Screenwriter Spotlight: Finalist – Mike Hanson & Kelly Moothart

What’s your name? Where were you born? Where do you live? And what’s your hobby?

Mike Hanson was born in the Twin Cities area. He currently lives in South Dakota. His hobbies include weightlifting, hiking, and reading.

Kelly Moothart was born in Colorado and has lived in South Dakota, Montana, Illinois, Iowa, and a few other places. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri. She plays tennis, practices yoga, and reads a lot of books.

Where did you come up with the concept that just placed you as a Finalist in the screenplay contest? How long did it take you to develop it into the screenplay it is now?

This idea for the screenplay structure of The Revver originated from a real-life experience on Kelly’s street with a revving neighbor who revved his monster truck at all hours. We then discovered Mike Hanson had a revver on his street too. As we researched the concept, we realized it is a universal issue.  Pockets of revvers scattered all over the world annoying neighbors everywhere.

From concept to finished draft, can you take us through your screenwriting process?

Once we had the concept, we read screenplays and watched shorts in the genre. Since it was a collaboration, we brainstormed ideas. We determined early on it would be a limited location with a strong, female protagonist. Using Writer’s Duet software and in-depth phone discussions, we were able to share our ideas and write the script outline together. We entered contests and incorporated some notes into revised drafts. This has resulted in the masterpiece we have today.

When did you realize that you wanted to become a screenwriter?

After writing short stories and a novella, Mike attended the Screenwriting programs in LA and decided to give screenwriting a try. He wrote a broad sports comedy feature that generated interest in Hollywood. Several years later, Mike and Kelly, who is a published novelist, reconnected at a law school reunion. They discussed their creative writing endeavors and made plans to collaborate on a screenplay.

Who are your biggest filmmaking/screenwriting influences? What about their style do you like or borrow?

Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)-The idiosyncratic characters, the storyline, and the way the stories are weaved together.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Charlie Kaufman)-The interwoven flashback mastery and how it was able to dramatize something so uncinematic as memory loss.

Fargo (Joel & Ethan Coen) -The way a small-scale crime becomes larger than life and is taken to the extreme.

Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (William Goldman)-the chemistry between the leads (the original “bro” story) and the whole concept that the heroes are on the run for the entire length of the movie.

Have you ever been obsessed with a movie or TV show? If so, which one? Why?

Kelly – Schitt’s Creek – the humor and sentimentality of the characters stuck in a place they felt they did not belong.

Mike – Breaking Bad – loved the suspense.

What’s your favorite moment in cinema history? Why?

Kelly – From To Kill a Mockingbird, when the crowd in the balcony stands up to show their respect for Atticus Finch even after he lost the case.

Mike – the broken plate/missing shard scene in Breaking Bad. It is portrayed with no dialogue and results in cinematic genius.

Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? Why?

Kelly – Atticus Finch – He is an honorable character and an amazing father. This character influenced my decision to become a lawyer.

Mike – Doc Holliday – even named my dog after this character in Tombstone.  I was fascinated by the complete aplomb of his dialogue.

If you could talk to anyone from any era, who would it be and what would you ask them?  

Kelly – Ruth Bader Ginsburg – how can we save our democracy?

Mike – I would like to go back in time and ask my late Mother why she didn’t call Child Protective Services on my Father for making me a fan of the hapless Minnesota Vikings.