Well, what’s there not to like/love/lust about Tom Hardy? We always say NoHo is only as great as its people,” and it’s why we want to highlight a local and noHoartsdistrict.com blogger, Waide Riddle and his award-winning screenplay, "Dear Tom Hardy: i love you."
Nine-year-old Shawn Williams has been writing his favorite movie star every week for the past year and a half. What happens when Mr. Hardy actually replies?
When and why did you decide you wanted to be a screenwriter?
As a child, growing up in Houston, I wrote mini-scripts and mini-screenplays, lots of poetry and short stories. In 2008 through about 2014, I wrote, produced and directed seven short films all based on my award-winning poems. BUT! It wasn't until 2016, election year, that I changed my direction. I was very disheartened and disappointed with the path America, as a whole, was taking. I wanted to write a happy screenplaythat would make people want to get up and dance and have a positive social message attached to it. That was the birth of "Dear Tom Hardy: i love you." Then, the rest of the outline and dynamics followed.
Tell us about the screenplay that has brought you the most success?
"Dear Tom Hardy: i love you" is what started it all off! I don't know why nor do I know what I did right... so, I don't question the powers that be. I'm just rolling along with it. Dear Tom Hardy is about a nine year old gay child who writes his favorite movie stars fan letters. That's his escape from the some-what cruel world of bullying he deals with at school. He lives in a world of make believe, where music and dance rule his dreams and celebrities come to visit him and dance with him... We're talking Nick Jonas, Justin Timberlake, Jake Gyllenhaal and Belinda Carlisle make regular visits in his dreams and make friends.
Tom Hardy happens to be his favorite actor, and who he has a puppy love crush on. The little boy, Shawn, writes Tom every week. Every Monday. What happens when Tom Hardy actually replies to him? That's the story.
You have been very successful in winning awards at film festivals. What are the awards you are most proud of?
Since my new found focus into screenwriting took place... I have achieved twenty-eight Official Selections, two Semi-Final Certificates, nine Finalist Certificates and six GOLD Wins. Out of these acknowledgments, I would have to say that Big House Los Angeles, Australia Independent Film Festival, GLITTER! LGBT Film Festival in McAlester, Oklahoma and Twister Alley Film Festival in Twister Alley, Oklahoma tend to utilize social media platforms to best serve the filmmakers and writers. I like that. I will say, personally, I do enjoy getting Certificates and Laurels from the fests. It's always nice to be able to show them off when the time presents itself.
What advice would you give to filmmakers submitting to festivals?
DO YOUR RESEARCH! I use http://www.filmfreeway.com for most of my submissions. The rest are done directly with the festival. Filmfreeway is user-friendly, easy and has many options that will be attractive to Artists. I tend NOT to submit to festivals if their entry fee is over $40. That's my typical cap on a festival fee. If it's over $40, there'd better be a good reason for it. If it's a high-profile festival, use your best judgement. If it's not high profile, use your best judgement. Wait for 'early' submission calls and take advantage of them. If you are late in the game, then wait. Unless, you seriously want to send a lot of money on a fee. Don't be afraid to wait!! The earlier you hit it, the chances are a Reader will have more time to focus on your screenplay. The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an excellent opportunity for screenwriters. Check out their Facebook page or go directly to http://www.oscars.org/nicholl for the guidelines and how to submit.
Do you get discouraged when not finding investors for the production of your films?
Of course. It's like the world of the actor and an audition. Rejection is tough. Period. That's why I feel so blessed to have a manager (Jennifer A. DaRe) and management (ATN Entertainment/Hollywood) that care about me. They are there to protect me and take the weight off. It's a team effort. We all want Dear Tom Hardy to 'green-light,' and my other features.
I have two short scripts: "THE WEB," which is a thriller, and "One Night. In a Diner. By Chance." that is a drama. Both have been Approved for Fiscal Sponsorship by the Independent Filmmaker Project. Both have won multiple awards and have excellent track records built up by the festival circuit. But, guess what? Without money, you can't make them. These are small budgets, about ten to fifteen thousand dollars each. But, I still have to raise the capital, and in this conservative climate, it's just not happening.
What's your favorite book and author?
Anything written by Robert R. McCammon, Dean Koontz, S.E. Hinton. I have a special place in my heart for W.A. Harbinson.
What is your favorite movie/movies?
The Exorcist, Ghost Story, The Haunting (original 1963), Grease, What's Up, Doc?, It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (original), The Outsiders, Pandorum, The Hangover, The Town. In 2018, I really loved Boy Erased and I hope the Academy remembers it. One of the best plays/screenplays that impacts me still today is August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.
If you had a magic wand, what changes would you make in the film industry?
This is where I make a lot of enemies! Ha! When I counsel actors or writers... I try to be as honest and blunt and brutal as possible. First and foremost, if you're in high school, stay and graduate. Period. Finish your studies! Do your homework when planning to move to your entertainment destination: Hollywood or NYC. At least six months to a year in advance. Research for housing and jobs and training. L.A. is a tough city! The competition is fierce! There are many reputable and good acting academies and coaches here. Do your homework! Once you've made the move, go to the SAG/AFTRA offices in Hollywood and ask questions. They will help you. That's their job. Get picture updates, shop around for a photographer that you like, design a good resume; whether you have experience or not. Hollywood is a business!!! Be professional. You did not move here to play, you moved here to work. Have business cards made. Yes, business cards. Not everyone cares to touch phones together. Some of the deal makers still prefer cards.
Get off your phone and TRAIN.
Get off your social media and TRAIN.
Get off your electronics and GET A LIFE and LISTEN.
Stop telling the whole world all your truth and baggage. Not everyone cares what your dirt is. You care and your cheering squad, and that's it. If you really need to tell your 'junk,' then find a therapist. There's plenty in Los Angeles County.
Stop being so hyper-sensitive.
Stop being so 'triggered' at life. You'll never make it in any industry if you don't toughen-up.
In short, a production company, or any business, will not hire you if they think you are a risk.
Remember, you are disposable. You may have been the most beautiful girl in your town or the most handsome guy in your school, but, here, around the corner, is someone better looking and better trained.
What do you do?
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Simple. Do your homework. Apply yourself the best way you can. Don't burn bridges. Don't make enemies if you can avoid it. Get an agent, manager, publicist, lawyer... It takes time. And, while you're at it, enjoy life! Don't forget about your mental health. THAT'S IMPORTANT!
I, personally, am not a fan of social media. I hate what it has done to the human condition and human interaction and human communication.
Let's talk about 'training' again. If you cannot afford training in a class setting, then start taking the bus, subway or walking everywhere. That's your best class right there! Hundreds of stories and characters at your finger tips everyday. Absorb, memorize and create. Hey, if you can, take a basic psychology class at a community college. LEARN THE HUMAN ANIMAL!
I recommend to all actors and writers, go to the Writers Guild of America at 3rd and Fairfax across from the Grove. The bottom floor is the WGA Library where you can read, write and research. NO, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MEMBER!
Anyone can go in. The librarians are happy to help you and mentor you. TRUST ME! I am always happy to offer advice, tips and survival information to young and not-so-young artists. Just contact me.
Where can actors and writers find you?
Instagram: waideriddle, Twitter: @WaideRiddle. I am the Administrator of the Facebook fan page Ryan Gosling: The Most Handsome Conglomerate in The World and Dear Tom Hardy: i love you. My direct email is email@example.com. If you are under 18, ONLY have your parent or guardian contact me. I will not communicate with you otherwise. No exceptions. The public can also reach out to me via my Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/author/waideriddle.
**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com. Follow us on Twitter @OfficialNoHo. On Instagram @NoHoArtsDistrict and Facebook @NoHoArtsDistrict. “Dear Tom Hardy: i love you" by Waide Riddle via the official NoHo Arts District Guide; www.nohoartsdistrict.com “Dear Tom Hardy: i love you", Waide Riddle, official NoHo Arts District Guide, wwwnohoartsdistrict.com, noho arts district, independent movies, indie films, noho films, la screenwriters, noho indie movies, north Hollywood film festival, noho film festival"