Most writers face years of rejection slips before finally receiving recognition for their writing efforts. Not Christina Denton. She took an online screenwriting course, wrote a screenplay, entered it in a prestigious screenwriting contest, and won first place! Two years later, a film producer optioned it, and soon audiences around the country will be able to enjoy “A Matter of Time”.
What first led you to write a screenplay?
Around fifteen years ago I was working as a sewing machine operator. The work was very repetitious so I didn’t necessarily have to keep my mind on the task at hand. To help make it through a nine hour day, I would have stories play throughout my mind. One day God spoke to me and told me to start writing them down. I didn’t know exactly how to write a script, so I took an online screenwriting course to learn the proper format.
Had you done any other writing previously?
I loved writing short stories in high school, but never really shared them with anyone other than close friends and family. In my early twenties I wrote skits for church activities, but nothing on a professional level.
Where did you get the idea for “A Matter of Time”?
The stories I have written so far haven’t been from life experiences. I hope to be able to do that someday, but for right now, I’m just writing fiction that is totally and completely God inspired.
What were your first thoughts when you found out you’d won the Kairos Prize?
My first thoughts were, “Wow God is so good”! I had just won first place in the first competition I had ever entered with the first screenplay I had ever written. Definitely a blessing from above. After I won, I called my husband to share the news. His first words were, “Thank you Jesus”! That was an even greater blessing. It had been a while since my husband had been to church. Even though he didn’t get back into church right after that, I believe the Lord used the contest to show my husband that He blesses those who are faithful to Him. My husband is back in church now and is very supportive of my writing.
How long did it take before you found a producer interested in your screenplay?
It took a little over two years before I heard from a producer. Kairos is a pretty tight group. We have made lifetime friendships. It was actually a fellow Kairos winner that helped me sell my script. Rusty Whitener, who is an actor as well as a writer, was starring in a movie called “Decision”. The producers were looking for other scripts. Rusty emailed me to see if “A Matter of Time” was still available. It was, so I sent the script. A few months later one of the producers called and said that he was interested in making it into a film. Production began about a year later.
Did you have to rewrite or did they film it as it was originally written?
The original script was 123 pages. I did a rewrite before sending it to the producer, which was about 115 pages. Once they optioned the script, I was asked to do another rewrite in order to shorten it some more. I got the script down to 103 pages. The production team made some changes as well, getting the script down to 96 pages at the time of shooting.
Tell us about your experiences on set.
My experiences on set were amazing! The shooting locations in Nashville, TN were beautiful. My husband, son, and I were able to spend a week there during filming. I had no idea it took so many people “behind the scenes” to make a film. Everyone was extremely friendly, especially Shelly Long. She was so welcoming and very down to earth.
What was it like watching your words come to life?
I’m not sure there are enough words to describe what it was like watching my script come to life. It was so overwhelming and so wonderful all at the same time. I had heard those words and seen those characters in my mind so many times, to actually be there watching it all come to life was incredible!
What is your goal for the movie?
“A Matter of Time” is a story of redemption and forgiveness. My goal is that this movie will help people who have strayed away from God find their way back to Him, and for broken relationships to be reconciled.
Can you tell us a little about your newest screenplays?
I have completed another script titled, “Dark Days” It’s a teen drama about two siblings coping with life after their parents are killed in an automobile accident. I am currently writing two other screenplays, “Angel of Third Street” and “Stepping Forward”