Rudi O'Meara is a story junkie who left Hollywood for Silicon Valley after a very Swimming with Sharks-y experience working for an indie producer with Oscar winning credits. During COVID, he decided to conjure up his inner screenwriter again. Fourteen features, four pilots, and one short later, he's received numerous accolades for his work.
He's been a finalist in the ScreenCraft Horror competition, and made the finals of Outstanding Screenplays. He had two scripts land as second rounders at AFF last year, and had a feature trend on The Black List (where eight of his scripts are hovering at solid 7s and above). He's held multiple positions on The Red List, has six scripts in the top 2-10% of all projects on Coverfly, reached the semis of twelve different screenwriting competitions, landed in the top 15% of all Academy Nicholl applicants in 2022, and also recently won our Fifth Annual Filmmatic Pitch Now competition for his comedic pilot "Amends". Rudi has been kind enough to provide us a glimpse into his prolific and successful writing efforts.
1) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been a writer pretty much as long as I can remember. I was the kid who would drive their parents bonkers telling unending stories from the back seat of the car on long, cross-country road trips. And I can thank my mom for keeping a boatload of my early, early ‘works’—including a crazily non-linear retelling of H.G.Wells’ The Time Machine from, like, third grade.
2) What screenwriting training have you received?
I do have a Bachelor’s degree in English, but I haven’t really studied screenwriting formally. My first job out of school was working for an indie producer with Oscar-winning credits. And during that time, one of my many, many responsibilities (including picking up dry cleaning and researching how to form tax shelters in the Netherlands) was reading as many in-bound scripts as I could and writing barebones coverage to help him find his next project. It was, needless to say, hugely instructive.
3) What writing habits work for you? Do you write in short or long shifts, at scheduled times?
I’m sort of a catch-as-catch-can writer (with a day job). But, during COVID, I decided to really let myself listen to that little voice in my head asking why the hell wasn’t I writing regularly. So, I’ve been carving out a chunk of time almost every day to either outline, write, or revise. The only real fixed and firm principle I’ve tried to adhere to is to always—always—have multiple projects in various states of completion when sending out a draft for either coverage or feedback from my writers’ group. It instantly keeps my defenses down and helps me take in critical notes without defaulting to ‘fuck you/fuck me’.
4) Do you have a day job as well, does it influence your writing at all?