screenwriter to watch
Joey Grossfield and Andrew Reuland are long time friends and collaborators based in New York City. Their award winning short Western, Lightning In The Hand (directed by Grossfield, written by Grossfield & Reuland) played in competition at the 2014 Austin Film Festival and went on to screen at over 40 festivals, winning 11 awards. Their feature Western script Apacheria (written by Reuland, story by Grossfield & Reuland) won the Enderby Entertainment Award at the 2017 Austin Film Festival, and participated in the No Borders (U.S. Features) section of IFP Film Week 2017.
Joey Grossfield is Co-Executive Producer of the acclaimed A&E crime show, “The First 48.” Andrew Reuland recently wrote for the television series “Ballmastrz 9009” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. They are currently working on their second feature script together, a modern suspense film set in the world of American Quarter Horse Racing.
How did you break in?
I arrived at film through fine arts, but I never expected anyone to take me seriously as a filmmaker if I couldn’t write. Then in the long process of figuring out how, I became really obsessed with narrative structure and dramatic composition. Luckily, despite a high skill ceiling, there’s a low barrier of entry to screenwriting – you dive in, you struggle, you fail, you learn, rinse, repeat.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Writer’s block is more about the restriction of forward motion than the lack of an idea. If you can’t progress, it’s likely because you made a wrong choice earlier on. Go back to the crossroad and rethink your path. Never be afraid to undo your own knots.
What has been your hardest scene to write?
It sounds like a cliche but really, they’re all hard on some level. The scenes that “write themselves” are few and far between. It usually requires rigor, resolve, and patience. Any idea is untested until you grind it out on the page. And screenwriting is a lonely endeavor; it’s invaluable to have someone you trust in your corner for a fresh perspective and pep talks.
What do you feel was your turning point?
Typing “The End” on my first completed feature screenplay. Regardless of it’s quality or fate, in that moment, just finishing a draft felt huge.
What are you working on right now?
We’re working on a suspense film set in the world of American Quarter Horse Racing and seeking financing for Apacheria with Joey directing.
What are your favorite movies?
Favorites are hard to pin down, but there are films I saw at a young age that really stayed with me, which I return to time and again: The Seven Samurai, Shane, Jaws, Alien, The Wild Bunch, Lawrence of Arabia, Apocalypse Now, Cool Hand Luke, The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie, 3 Women, and all of Leone’s westerns.
Who are your favorite screenwriters?
The Coens, Walter Hill, John Milius, William Goldman, Paul Schrader, Robert Towne, P.T. Anderson
What is your most Memorable AFF Moment?
Winning the Enderby Entertainment Award at the 2017 AFF with Apacheria.