NY Elite: Congratulations on being an ISC finalist. What does it mean for your work to be selected at the International Screenwriting Competition in New York?
Robin Scher: It shows that the effort I have put into this script has been worth it, and that people are interested in what I have to say. It gives me hope that this film could eventually be made and seen by people who I believe would enjoy watching it.
NY Elite: Can you tell us about the work that you participated with at ISC? What is the story about?
Robin Scher: “Seven Days” is a story of star crossed lovers, literally. A battle hardened pilot crashes on an alien space fortress and meets people from a distant world who challenge everything she has ever known or believed. Without giant CG monsters or fleets of alien hordes to battle, there is more time and budget for the love story arc which is moved forward by the looming threat of action as they get chased across the universe.
NY Elite: Can you tell us yourself and your artistic talents?
Robin Scher: I grew up around media. My father taught video production at community college and had a small production business of his own. As a kid, I played music, and after school, managed to get myself into doing visual effects. I worked on TV shows like “Lois and Clark” as well as lots of ads and music videos. I continue to have a day job as a technical director doing VFX for movies and commercials, but I am excited to start telling my own stories with my filmmaking.
NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?
Robin Scher: “Seven Days” is my only live action script.
NY Elite: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
Robin Scher: For over 25 years I have worked on major movies, Super Bowl commercials, TV shows, video games, music videos, and stuff far beyond what you would even imagine as visual effects, so it’s hard to pick my favorite 3. I would have to go with (in no particular order):
- An ad for Hollywood Gum directed by Tim Burton, where I was the visual effects artist and worked on set with him. It was his first ever commercial, and he’s made some of my favorite movies, so it was a real honor for me.
- Prada’s “Trembled Blossoms” designed by artist James Jean, where I was a senior artist and supervisor. While imperfect (the limitations we were under were pretty intense for such a big piece of animation at the time), it is such a strange and beautiful piece that it will always be a favorite.
- The Orlando International Airport. If you ever go there you will notice that the counters where you check in and drop your bags are all backed by video walls. Altogether it’s one of the largest integrated video wall installations in the world, serving one of the busiest airports in the country. While the airline designed content I created for it is not the most exciting stuff to watch, it’s built so that they can dynamically reconfigure the airline counters, each showing its own branded animated content, seamlessly in real time as the airport needs change. It’s pretty cool.
NY Elite: What type of scripts do you want to write in your career?
Robin Scher: I want to write content that people remember, and I want to write content that causes people to think. But most of all, I want to write content that entertains people, and makes them happy to watch.
NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
Robin Scher: For me, it is important to build out the entire character. Every major and supporting character in my film has an extensive back story going all the way to where and when they were born. I even “cast” random pictures from the Internet to help me visualize them. Having a huge amount of detail ready to go meant that even for characters with just a few lines, I could ensure that every word and action from each character fits in with who that person is, how they interact with the world, why they are there, and what they would do under intense situation
NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?
Robin Scher: I have a day job working in visual effects for film and commercials, so you will probably see some of my work this year somewhere. Of course, those are very large projects, and I am only a small, but important, part of the teams that create them.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Robin Scher: I am working on a series of LEGO stop motion shorts where LEGO Darth Vader takes the place of famous movie characters. In the first, Vader is Peter Bateman in the business card scene from “American Psycho” matched frame for frame (at 6 frames per second). The technical challenge of shooting stop motion at LEGO scale makes it fun for me personally, and the end result is a comedic homage to some of my favorite movie moments.
NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking/writing?
Robin Scher: You won’t have a career if you don’t try. Write your stories, make films, take pictures, make music, be creative. I can’t say life won’t make it hard, but there will always be times when you have the choice to do something. Make that choice, and do that thing. Put it out there. Learn from it, and try again. Oh, and love your mistakes, because they are unavoidable and often lead to incredible breakthroughs you never even imagined.