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Journeying into 'A Long Way Home' with Steven Bogart: A Writer's Tale Unveiled in a Candid Conversat

In this interview, Bogart generously shares the inspirations, challenges, and the artistry that brings his screenplay to life. Join us for an exploration of words and imagination, as we uncover the heart of 'A Long Way Home' through the lens of its creator.

American Dream Screen : Every screenplay has a unique journey from concept to completion. Can you take us through the moment or experience that ignited the spark for this story, and how it evolved into the screenplay we see today?

Steven Bogart : The inspiration for A Long Way Home came when I thought about The Ugly Duckling and replacing the duckling with a baby dragon. Still, really, the story was informed by various forms and levels of bullying that I experienced in childhood and early adult life. I was immediately gripped by the need to write this story.

American Dream Screen : Screenwriting allows for creative exploration. Can you share an instance where the narrative took an unexpected turn during the writing process, and how did this spontaneous development contribute to the depth of your screenplay?

Steven Bogart : Yes, initially, my draft was moving in the direction of the baby dragon growing up in a small town, going to school and trying to fit in with the residents of the school and town. The narrative changed when the idea of the land being invaded by a savage dictator with his army from another country. The addition of the invasion created a more significant and profound adventure for the dragon to find its biological family and become a hero who helps conquer the invaders.

American Dream Screen : Collaboration is integral in bringing a screenplay to life on screen. Could you share a memorable experience of working with a director, producer, or actor, and how their input influenced and enriched the script?

Steven Bogart : At this time, this story is only an animated screenplay. I haven’t had the good fortune to have any production companies producing the script. However, my writer’s group was helpful with feedback throughout the writing process.

American Dream Screen : Dialogue is a powerful tool in screenwriting. How did you craft the distinctive voices of your characters, and can you share a line or moment from your screenplay that you are particularly proud of?

Steven Bogart : For me, good dialogue comes from the distinctive wants and needs of the characters, and I try to listen to their voices as best as I can. I line from the script I’m proud of: When the invasion begins, the baby dragon runs away and hides in a forest when a squirrel shows up and introduces herself. The enemy fires guns at them, and a bullet zips past the squirrel’s head, and she says, “Holy crap on a cracker. Warmongers! Climb!”

American Dream Screen : The life of a screenwriter can be filled with highs and lows. Can you describe a moment of doubt or a challenging period during the writing process, and what strategies did you use to overcome these obstacles and keep your creative spirit alive?

Steven Bogart : Writing is always challenging. With each script, it never gets easier for me. The challenge for me always seems to be two things: one, ignoring the negative voices in the writing process, especially the first draft, and two, not allowing my brain to trick me into avoiding the emotionally painful places that I need to write within the story.

American Dream Screen : As you look back on your journey as an independent screenplay writer and the creation of this unique script, what do you feel is the most significant lesson or insight you've gained about the art of storytelling and filmmaking that you would like to share with aspiring writers and filmmakers?

Steven Bogart : This is a lesson I keep trying to learn: writing is an act of courage. It’s hard work, and it can be magical when the world and characters take over, and I can go along for the ride.

As we wrap up our chat with Steven Bogart, the mind behind 'A Long Way Home,' the essence of his storytelling prowess lingers in the air. Bogart's revelations have peeled back the layers of his creative process, providing a rare glimpse into the heart and soul of 'A Long Way Home.'

As we part ways, it's clear that Bogart's craft is not just about words on paper—it's an invitation to experience emotions, traverse new landscapes, and embrace the power of a well-told tale. 'A Long Way Home' is more than a story; it's an echo of Bogart's artistry that will resonate with readers long after they close the book. Here's to the enduring magic of storytelling and the promise of more captivating narratives to come.

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