Victoria Rose is a Los Angeles based, award-winning screenwriter and an emerging presence in the industry. She attended the University of Southern California where she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production with an emphasis in Writing.
How young and how hungry do you need to be to win a place on the Young & Hungry list?
I don’t think you have to be young, you just have to be somewhat undiscovered, or on the precipice of your screenwriting career, but I imagine you have to be pretty hungry.
Describe your unique personal and professional background and the specific project that attracted industry interest?
I’m from Los Angeles, but don’t have any family in the business. I grew up with a single mom who was a psychologist, and that started my interest in people and why we do what we do. Essentially, my mom’s career got me interested in character. And I was always a voracious reader. Professionally, I went to USC for undergrad and grad school, studying film history and production, which propelled me forward on my career trajectory.
The main project I’ve worked on that has attracted industry interest is my feature film script, Tunnels. People seem to like the specificity of the world and the complexity of the characters.
What personal qualities do screenwriters need to make it?
You have to want to do this really badly. You have to believe in your own talent and abilities and stories, because sometimes no one else will. I think tenacity is probably the most important trait. Also just being curious and having opinions about the world and wanting to share those observations or ideas.
Why did you decide to become a screenwriter above all other careers?
Screenwriting, and writing in general, combines all of my interests. I have a theater background, so I’ve always loved entertainment and transporting audiences, whether it’s to share a message or as a form of escapism. I also love reading and words and psychology and film.
Screenwriting makes the most sense for me. I do hope to publish a book or two one day, as I love fiction writing, as well. But for now, with screenwriting – there is nothing I’d rather do – no matter how hard it may be to get ahead.
How do you become manager bait?
I think it’s important to be amicable and easy to work with. You also have to care about your career a lot and show that you will work hard when presented with the right opportunities. Most importantly, agents and managers will want to rep someone based on their material. So I think it really comes down to having similar taste in movies and TV.
Where do you get your creative inspiration?
A conversation with a friend. An interaction I see on the street. My own personal experience. Interesting articles or other forms of media.
How do you decide which ideas are worthy of pursuing?
Some ideas are more exciting to me personally. And those are the ones that will end up being the best scripts because of the passion I have for the subject matter. There are also ideas other people respond more positively to, and so I will definitely take that into consideration. I usually talk about my ideas with my friends and reps and see how they react, but ultimately I will pursue the ideas that are the most important to me or that I feel need to be told.
Do you have a writing brand in terms of interests you gravitate towards?
I gravitate towards coming-of-age and unlikely friendship stories. I’m also drawn to identity and empathy, thematically. I’m into character-based dramedies, but also love a good thriller.
How do characterize the current state of the industry and opportunities for emerging writers?
I’ve been writing professionally for four years, so I’m not sure how things were before. I’d still say it’s pretty difficult to make a name for yourself and get ahead, but it seems like people are finally appreciating all kinds of voices and providing opportunities that reflect that.
How do you train and improve your writing craft?
I initially learned in a school setting, with a critical studies in cinema major, and then with a film production masters. Since graduating, I improve by reading scripts, watching a lot of movies and TV shows, and discussing what works and doesn’t work, and writing every day.
What are the qualities of scripts you read that don’t get industry interest?
I think you have to have something new to say and it has to be very specific. If your script has vague characters and a predictable plot, I’m not sure anyone would be interested.
What advice do you have for screenwriters wanting to make next year’s Young & Hungry list?
Keep pushing. Meet with people. Ask them to read your scripts. Be gracious.
What is something that few people know about you?
Few people know this but… I’m an open book ????