Alejandro Gonzalez Ibarra is a troubled kid with anger issues. After being fried from his last job as a pool cleaner he gets a job at a coffee shop where meets Stella, a Latina. They go out and Alex meets Gerard, Stella's father, who's a retired chess player. Gerard and Alex play a match and Alex beats him. Gerard invites him to become a chess player. Alex denies as he has more important things to take care of but when his mom gets sick he goes to play chess and becomes the world champion chess player.
Isaac Ballesteros Barba is an award-winning screenwriter with over 130 official selections, finalist, semi-finalist status for his scripts in several different film festivals across the world. It is our pleasure to interview him for our magazine.
How did you start writing scripts?
I start my scripts by first writing an outline of the plot points that I want to hit and I go from there. I love to have a title already and in most cases I do. It helps me get more immersed in the story I'm about to write, as well as do research enough if it's not a topic I'm incredibly familiar with. Having said that, always write what you know.
What was the first script project you completed?
It was a script titled 'Confidence' about a con-man who resurges from hiding to do another heist with his former lover as the FBI closely follows them. In my first script, I made a lot of mistakes but I have evolved with time and now I'm an award-winning screenwriter.
Tell us about the script of "Woodpusher" and the inspiration behind the writing of your script.
I was learning how to play chess with a friend of mine and I found it so exciting... Once you understand chess and the movements it feels so real that I just couldn't get away from the idea and since I was just starting, I was daydreaming about beating my friends/teachers and becoming a great player.
What is your most favorite cinematic genre when it comes to screenwriting?
When it comes to screenwriting, I don't like to be in a box of just one genre so I have plenty of scripts. I have written western, science fiction, thriller, horror, comedy, drama, romance, animation, and more. The ones I'm most proficient in seem to be comedy and thriller.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I finished two short scripts, I was hired to write a memoir in screenplay format, a 113-page feature, and I'm finishing a full three-part limited series so I can pitch to producers as well as find a literary agent. After the limit series, I have three features that I want to write as well as my personal projects
What makes you write and why do you want to work as a screenwriter?
It's the only thing I see myself doing. My passion for writing goes so far that without it my life would seem empty. I have taken breaks and I can't do it. I live inside my head and it's hard not to daydream and put it into words.
What is your cinematic goal in life as a writer?
My first goal is to find a literary agent so I can get my script in the right hands. I want to produce my films and become a renowned writer for my original work and not for writing remakes, reboots, origin stories, etc. And sure, become the first Mexican to win Best Original Screenplay as a writer. I'm just a boy from México with big dreams.