Student screenplay performed at International School

For most people, movies are simply a form of entertainment; for sophomore Chandler (Chandy) Clemens however, film and writing for the screen have become a significant part of his life. 

Chandy first delved into the art of screenwriting at the age of 12 when his uncle¬, who happens to be best friends with one of Tom Cruise’s executive producers, offered to pay him $500 to write a screenplay for him. “[My uncle] is interested in me following a career in film and he knows people in the business,” said Chandy.

The fateful first script entitled Amateur, in addition to being sent to his uncle, was performed at the International School of Minnesota (his old school).  However, he was none too happy about how it was portrayed there. “Amateur is about a kid whose grandfather is a movie director and has a stroke, so the kid takes over the film. [But the director] took it and totally made it into this stupid, junior high thing. She [compromised] and I was able to write part of it, but the other parts she just fabricated and made not good at all,” said Chandy.

Chandy has since written a second complete script and is currently in the middle of his third. His second script is entitled Remington Good Enough, and his third is called Wayward Night. “Remington Good Enough is about this guy who’s in love with his car and the car gets stolen so he goes out for redemption and finds the guy [who stole it]. Wayward Night is a horror movie, but I won’t really delve into that one,” said Chandy.

Though still not finished, Wayward Night has become Chandy’s favorite script he’s written. “The other two were just sophomore efforts, but I’m taking a lot of time on Wayward Night. I really want it to be perfect.  I’m actually thinking of possibly submitting it,” said Chandy.

It is the plot and characters of Wayward Night that truly makes it his favorite. “My characters are really how I want them to be.  They say what they want to say, do what they want to do. It’s like a throwback to 70s exploitation movies and violence—even though I’m a pacifist. It’s just kind of a satire,” said Chandy.

Though Chandy submitted a five-page script to a contest, he would feel apprehensive about having his work performed at BSM, mainly because of the content. “All my movies would be rated R.  Language is a really big deal to me,” said Chandy.

The characters in Chandy’s scripts are also incredibly important to him. “[All my characters] are foul-mouthed and bizarre in their own type of way.  I put myself and people around me into the characters,” said Chandy.

Though there is a definite trend in his characters and writing style, Chandy isn’t afraid to experiment with different genres for his scripts. “I’m versatile [with genres].  I want to do all types of genres.  Amateur was kind of a comedy, Remington Good Enough was a dark, Garden State type of movie, and Wayward Night is a horror movie,” said Chandy.

Chandy draws most of his inspiration from Quentin Tarantino films.  “Pulp Fiction is my favorite movie. I’m going to get a tattoo of it. [In Tarantino films] the dialogue is so well written with classy scenarios and unique directing.  I like people who are foul-mouthed yet classy,” said Chandy.

For Chandy, the writing process can take anywhere from two years to four months. “Amateur took me two years, Remington Good Enough took me six months, and I’ll be done with Wayward Night in about a month, so four months for that one.  [The scripts] are usually 100 pages long,” said Chandy.

At the moment, Chandy is already planning his next script which will be about the 1977 New York City blackout.

As well as writing scripts, Chandy is a DJ and has a movie review blog.  Someday he plans to make screenwriting a career and hopes to go to college at New York University.