Missouri Stories Spotlight with Brandon Camp

Brandon Camp is a US Army veteran, alum of Webster University, husband, and father of two. He was selected as a 2021 for his script Let Me Burn, about a pair of paranormal investigating con men who are hired to investigate a poltergeist by a billionaire but get more than they bargained for when the haunting becomes real.

Where do you get inspiration for your writing?

BC: My life. The places I’ve been and the people I’ve met inform much of what I write. My emotional journey as a person who grew up in New York City, served in the military, and became a father of two beautiful children proved to be the greatest source of inspiration for character and thus story.

Tell us about a screenwriter who inspires you and why.

BC: This is a tough question to answer with just one name. David Koepp kept me on the edge of my seat countless times, Charlie Kaufmann repeatedly had me on the verge of an identity crisis, I’m still chasing Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, but it was Tarantino’s True Romance early script that first attracted me to the form. However, to be brutally honest, my writer friends inspire me more than anybody else.

Describe your writing process.

BC: Ideas come from anywhere. Typically, a memory or something that happened to me, but also a movie, podcast, one of my daughter’s random drawings or my son’s ridiculous questions about the universe that I am nowhere near qualified to answer. Once I have a basic premise set, I let the idea mull around in my brain for weeks, months, or even years until I feel it’s ready to bring it to an outline. I live and die by the outline. There I make my plot mistakes, solve any logic issues, and ensure character arcs are complete. I believe a solid outline leads to a solid first draft — a first draft that I will more than likely rewrite ten times over. At least.

How do you connect with other writers?

BC: The writers I know and rely on fell into my lap through school, work, and family. However, my wife introduced me to a great screenwriting group in St. Louis. They meet once a month to perform a table read of one of its members’ scripts.

How has being a Missouri Stories Fellow affected you?

BC: The Missouri Stories Fellowship is easily one of the best times I’ve had as a writer in my life. I was able to learn so much about craft but also the industry, not only from the incredibly knowledgeable mentors, but from the other talented fellows as well. When my personal and professional life felt stagnant during pandemic, the fellowship gave me an incredible boost of confidence to keep moving forward.

What are you up to now?

BC: Rewriting. Rewriting. Rewriting.

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