AN INTERVIEW WITH Gary D. Henry, WRITER & PRODUCER
As a screenwriter and producer, please introduce yourself and let us know how you became involved in film production?
My name is Gary D. Henry, and I am an author of thirty published books and many works in progress. I always wondered what it would look like if the stories I created were presented in a visual medium. So, since getting a movie adapted from one of my books seemed impossible given the piles of scripts that I'm sure decorates the offices of just about every major and minor studio throughout the US, I decided to finance it myself. I went into this not knowing anything about filmmaking, but that's how I began my writing career in 2009. To this day, I still don't know everything about the construction of a quality film project and depend on contacts within the film industry to assist me in finding the best team that a small budget could buy to make my stories pop. This proved to be the correct approach, at this point, given the final fantastic product.
What sparked your interest in visual storytelling compared to writing stories?
I tend to write my stories with a movie in mind although, the stories are so story-focused that my director, Johnnie Hector, stated that he could make a movie out of every chapter of the Witchwoods novel. What inspired me to make movies? Well, it's the stories. I pride myself on being unique in my storytelling and make sure that the reader cannot guess the ending. I read the books and can see the potential. Once that happens, I turn the screws and sharpen the blades in preparation to see my characters move and follow them to wherever my mind takes them.
How did you start out, and what were some of the important milestones along the way?
I started writing in 2009. As a favor to a friend who had a fantastic story to tell, he asked me if I could write given my years of toiling over technical, environmental reports for state and local clients. I told him that I'd write the introduction to see if I possessed the talent to write a full non-fiction biography. He gave me the okay, and I couldn't stop writing. I remember giving him twenty questions for his mother to answer. It took months to get the answers back so I decided to write another book while I waited. In six weeks I had my second book written. You might even say that I completed my second book before I finished my first. I then completed what I could on my friend's book utilizing his mother's answers. After that, I gave him twenty questions for his father to answer. Again, another three-month delay so I wrote my third book. The stories came to me that fast. I finished his book in the next two months and never stopped writing. To this day, I'm working on full-length novels 31 through 35.
As the writer, what was the inspiration for writing the screenplay for "Witchwoods"?
The incredible multi-directional mystery that attacks many genres in one captivating and impossible journey into the Tennessee woods. The Bell Witch legend has always fascinated me, so I created a story around the legend.