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2nd Open Topic Short Film Contest 1st Prize Winner Bryan van Gorder - “The Proxy”

We sat down with 2nd Open Topic Short Film Contest 1st Prize Winner Bryan van Gorder to discuss “The Proxy”

Well-versed and well-travelled, Bryan van Gorder is a life-long creative who stumbled upon Open Screenplay at the beginning of 2020. His screenplay "The Proxy" recently received first prize in the 2nd Open Topic Short Film Contest

Here is how Bryan describes his screenplay:

"In a future where everyone but a very few live in poverty, a down-on-his-luck war vet drags a Manhattan socialite into an alley to rob her. His plans get derailed, however, when she calls for a proxy—a for-hire stand-in to any situation—and they are forced to await her arrival."

Bryan studied at Harvard before moving to Los Angeles to pursue his screenwriting ambitions. He has since worked as a travel writer and journalist published in Queer media outlets such as The Advocate and Out.

Drawing parallels to wealth inequality in America, the Proxy was influenced and inspired by Bryan's experience travelling around the United States. He feels the moment that epitomizes this theme arises as the robber, named Man, describes how he could tell the socialite was not local to the area.

"The truth? It was the way you carry yourself. You have a confidence no one from around here can afford" - Man.

The Proxy, written initially as a short story, was a quarantine project for Bryan. It was Open Screenplay's guided writing process that helped him arrange his thoughts.

"I do think it's helpful, especially with those of us who are terrible with organization. It helps with the structure."

Bryan hopes to continue writing, having already started his next short on Open Screenplay and is inspired to explore his options as a screenwriter. When asked what advice he would give to budding writers, he recited advice from a former professor.

"It's never done, it's just done enough."


To learn about and participate in one of our screenwriting contests for a chance to get paid and produced, visit our Contests Page!  


Read more of winner's journey with Open Screenplay:

Dreams Come to Life: A Reflection by Maddison Tebbutt

CAI contest 1st Place winner Karim Zouak – “Three Arabs Walk Into a Bar”


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