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“The Undoing of Jimmy Skidmarks by the Gangster Keaton Briley” written by Leal Butler

"The Undoing of Jimmy Skidmarks by the Gangster Keaton Briley"

The comedy short screenplay, The Undoing of Jimmy Skidmarks by the Gangster Keaton Briley, is an official selection of the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Fall 2017.

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  • Category: Short Screenplay
  • Screenwriter: Leal Butler
  • Tagline: “A guilt-prone gangster tries to make a quick buck."

Leal Butler Biography

Leal was born in Hollywood, California in the early 1970's. A graduate of The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, CA, Leal moved from southern California to New Zealand in 1995, becoming a citizen of NZ in 2016. Leal currently resides in Auckland with his wife Danielle, who runs a bakery on Karangahape Road.

Jimmy Skidmarks: The Story Behind the Story

  1. What is the title of your screenplay and why did you think that your screenplay was a good fit for the Austin Comedy Short FF?
    "Austin's near San Antonio, and some of the funniest people I've known were in San Antonio :)"
  2. What inspired you to write this screenplay and how did you come up with the title? "The current title is an elongation of the working title ("Jimmy Skidmarks"). Starting with the idea of the titular character, the story kind of unfolded by itself. I've since learned of a feature named "Johnny Skidmarks" (a film I've never seen). If I had heard of "Johnny Skidmarks" prior to writing my script, I probably wouldn't have been able to write my script. Anyway, story ideas are difficult to come up with, but I've found that if I come up with a quirky title character, the process is much, much easier."
  3. What was your inspiration for some of the characters in your screenplay? "The main character of the story, Keaton Briley, is just the result of my wondering what an incompetent, fast-talking gangster might be like."
  4. In your mind, where do you see this story taking place and why? "I see the story taking place in a city where people talk fast. Maybe the north-east, maybe Chicago. Somewhere with a history of prohibition-era gangsterism."
  5. Do you have plans to fund the production of this film independently? If so, where are you at, in the process? "I might fund the project independently. I'm currently at a crossroads, deciding whether or not to produce it for my Master's Degree dissertation."
  6. What were some of the creative challenges that you encountered while writing this screenplay? "This story is about the inner-workings, the thought process, of what is arguably a pretty shallow character; it isn't until the last page that the protagonist actually realizes what a jerk he's been. But, depicting a thought process with this medium, without resorting to V.O. techniques, is inherently difficult."
  7. Did you have any funny or weird ideas that popped into your head while writing this screenplay, that didn't make the final draft? "I did consider having the protagonist spontaneously dance The Madison, a la "A Bande a Part"-- but I cut that from the submitted draft."
  8. Can you list any awards, nominations or official selections for this film? "Semi-Finalist: Los Angeles CineFest."

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