I get an idea basically from anything, watching a movie, Sins of Man came to me after watching John Carpenter's Halloween and Scream back to back one night or listening to a song I wrote an entire script from a country song so what inspires me to write varies greatly.
When I started working on Sins of Man I watched Halloween and started thinking about all the things I like about that movie and when I watched Scream right after it I started thinking about what I would do if I were writing a horror movie then I started writing down ideas of characters, kills who / what the kill would be and I realized I was onto something.
My creative energy went right to deciding how the victims would be killed then who the killer was and what they would look like, once I got that worked out I started working on the characters and the world the story would take place.
Originally the story was supposed to take place in and around a high school setting but we couldn't get permission from our local school district to shoot in any of their schools so we had to change the setting and thus change almost the entire script. I kept the concept of the kids being high school age I just made them recent graduates who went on a camping trip to celebrate their freedom from school until the fall when they all go off to college.
So I worked out the characters you know the typical characters in a slasher film, the jock, nerd, slut, wallflower etc. I added the Sheriff and Deputy I wrote the opening scene murders (a staple in all slasher films) and started writing the script and with in 30 days I had first drafts written for the entire trilogy.
How did I go from a single stand alone movie to a trilogy in less then 30 days ? I was writing Sins of Man and about half way through I saw a way to make a sequel so I started writing notes for Sins of Man II, once I finished Sins of Man I started writing Sins of Man II and once again about half way through I saw the opportunity for a final chapter in a trilogy so I started writing notes to finish the series and once I finished Sins of Man II I started writing Sins of Man III.
When I was working on the final draft of Sins of Man II and didn't have a subtitle or tag line worked out yet I was struggling with making "just another Slasher movie" and wanting to make something that will turn heads and make people take notice that Wicked Carnival Productions is for real. and we really do care about horror movies and the horror genre and we want to give fans what they want to see, this little story ties into the second question in the title of this blog.
Now as for how much help I will except when I'm writing that is another thing that varies, When I was writing Sins of Man I didn't have any help and I didn't want any because I created Mortis, the story, the characters etc, this was MY story, it wasn't until I got into one of the later rewrites that I started excepting ideas from Ken Messier (he plays Sheriff Johnson in Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis) we came up with some cool ideas together when I was working on the final draft of Sins of Man II : Vengeance I got alot of help from Chris Fyfe (who was Michael Jaymes in Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis) he is also my editor, music composer and sound mixer on the film as well as Sins of Man II : Vengeance and many future projects as well.
When I started writing screenplays I was in a place in my mind that this was MY work, I didn't want or need anyone to tell me how to write it or tell the story, I think every writer goes through this stage of their work. I had written about a dozen scripts by myself before I started working on Sins of Man so I knew how to write a script. I wrote my first horror script Wicked Carnival prior to writing Sins of Man so I knew I could write horror so I focused all my energy on Sins of Man and did a good job on the script, although if you ask the cat I became known as the "Typo King" with the early drafts of the script but I learned how to edit with spell check and got better with it.
So as you can see my creative influences vary greatly from movies, music, stories I've heard or from my own sick, twisted mind. I love my job because it allows me to sit around and think of creative ways to kill people when ever I want to and there's no jail time !
Stay Tuned & Stay Wicked !