Five Questions with Screenwriting Expert Max Timm

What do Michael Jordan, Tony Romo, and a raucous round of Double Dare have in common? And more importantly, what’s the greatest screenplay of all time? We have a very special guest here to offer their pick. The International Screenwriters’ Association champions screenwriters to agents, managers and producers seeking talent and provides essential resources to elevate your craft and career. The Director of Education for the ISA – as well as the President of The Story Farm – is Max Timm. Max stopped by for a thoroughly entertaining round of Five Questions with SCREEN. Let’s get to it!

SCREEN: Well, Max, you’re the screenwriting expert so we have to ask: what is your favorite or most memorable screenplay of all time?

MAX: While I don’t try to convince people that it’s the “best” screenplay of all time, my most memorable was The Cider House Rules by John Irving. It was one of the first scripts I read in college and while immersing myself in the film, TV, and screenwriting worlds. It was memorable because it was the first time that I understood just how much emotion can be conveyed through a screenplay. I understood, very early on, that it was the writer’s job to show us emotion and not just tell the reader about it. It was wonderful in every way.

Here is the trailer for that critically acclaimed drama…

SCREEN: Your greatest athletic achievement?

MAX: My senior year of high school, I broke up a pass made by Tony Romo while playing cornerback against the state’s top receiver. While this is technically the truth, the actual truth is that Romo overthrew the ball, and missed his receiver who had juked me out of my pants. Had the ball been on target, it would have been an easy 60-yard touchdown. But hey… as I walked back to the line of scrimmage, the fieldhouse announcer called out, “Pass broken up by Max Timm.” I distinctly remember hearing my friends in the stands laughing so hard they fell out of their seats.

SCREEN: If you could be the host of any game show in television history, what would it be?

MAX: I’ve never thought of this! It would likely be some kind of active show – something that got the contestants up out of their chairs to do more than just answer trivia questions. There was a show in the ’90’s that I loved as a kid called Double Dare, and even though the show host didn’t do anything incredibly wild or fun, I think I would love to jump on as guest host simply to make my 12 year-old self feel better and less left-out for never having been a contestant.

Ok Max, here’s a full serving of slime and Double Dare for ya…

SCREEN: Most famous person you’ve ever met?

MAX: I suppose it would be a tie between Ken Griffey Jr. and Ron Howard (an odd pairing, I know, but I didn’t meet them at the same time). I met Mr. Howard because I consulted his daughter, Bryce Howard, on a few scripts she was writing. He was as kind and cordial and friendly as you would think Ron Howard would be. In terms of Ken Griffey Jr., I used to work at a country club in college and served him while at the bar. I’m happy to say that he was pretty damn cool, didn’t drink too much, and was actually nice to the wait staff. I am very sad to report that the day Michael Jordan came to the same country club, I had the day off. It was by far the ONLY time I was disappointed I had the day off from that place.

SCREEN: If you can play any superhero in a major motion picture, who would it be?

MAX: What does it say about me when I realize that I can’t think of anyone… and yet the first one that popped up was Will Smith’s Hancock? I’m concerned for myself. My reasoning probably comes from the fact that I like being unassuming and slightly reluctant when it comes to showing off or being a hero or basking in any limelight (as some superheroes tend to do). Then again, Batman has some pretty damn cool gadgets, and his car is rad.

DId you say Batman gadgets, Max? This video is for you…


SCREEN: Your go-to karaoke song?

MAX: Save The Last Dance by Michael Buble… duh.

Ok Max, let’s hear ya loud and proud!

SCREEN: Worst decision you made in college?

MAX: To continue pining over every girl who wouldn’t give me the time of day and not just moving on. *shoulder shrug emoji*

SCREEN: What’s that TV show you’re a little embarrassed to admit you love to watch?

MAX: Tuesday nights are made for… ready for it? The Curse of Oak Island on History Channel. It’s the worst, most-watched show on TV. They never actually find anything, and during every episode I give mad props to the editors of the show. They somehow figure out how to cut together scenes of terribly boring archaeological digs and make them remotely entertaining.

Max, here is a free full episode for you and for all of us to somewhat enjoy…

Thanks for playing, Max! To get involved with the International Screenwriters’ Association, click right here.

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