Film Connection student Suzanne Nichols gets interest in her script!

FC Screenwriting apprentice Suzanne NicholsBy the time Suzanne Nichols found the Film Connection, she’d already had lots of life experience, including a degree from Brown University and several published books to her credit.  But as she began pondering her next book, she had an epiphany and decided it needed to be a screenplay instead.

“I went down to the barn one day,” she says, “and just had this thought: ‘It’s time to do the film. This is a film, this is a film.’”

Suzanne enrolled in the Film Connection because she knew she needed help in making the transition to writing for the screen. “The desire to render a story visually has been with me for a very long time,” she says. “Writing has always been kind of my first choice when it would come to expressing ideas…[but] film is such a powerful medium…It is very powerful because it’s kind of bypassing, in a lot of ways, a more analytical part of our brain and going right to that instant visual reaction.”

Because of her specific interest in screenwriting, the Film Connection paired Suzanne with screenwriting mentor Ron Osborn (Meet Joe Black, Radioland Murders), who worked closely with Suzanne to help her retool her writing chops.

“I couldn’t have done it without Ron, she says. “He knew always when I wasn’t getting it and would point it out to me, and then I would just work and work and work and re-work and re-work, and then I’d start to get close, and he’d be like, ‘Yeah, you’re getting closer.’ And then I’d nail it.”

For Suzanne, the hard work paid off in a big way. When her script was ready, the Film Connection set up a meeting for her with noted film producer Aimee Schoof.  Even before she had a chance to do her pitch, Suzanne says Aimee (who had already looked at the script) told her she liked the story very much, and walked away from the table with the script in her hand!

“She had some excellent feedback for me,” says Suzanne, “which I will implement should I have to pitch it again. Which maybe I won’t: she said they may be interested…She likes the story very much.”

And so, with the help of the Film Connection the established author-turned-screenwriter now has active Hollywood connections and is steps away from seeing her movie made. Suzanne says it was a huge transition for her to change her writing habits for the screen, but for her it was well worth the effort. “I never gave up,” she says, “and I’m grateful for that.”

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