Diane M. Johnson - screenwriter

About me:
This writer absolutely hates writing about herself because it's painstakingly boring. Maybe that's why I choose to write about other people. But if you absolutely feel the undying need to find out more about me, please read on.
              
I grew up in the heart of Upstate New York, along the Mohawk River, to parents. Two of them. The area was rich in the history of the Revolutionary War and rich in the lore of classic tales like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Rip Van Winkle.  Those early stories, and the anecdotes that my parents and grandparents told about their own encounters with ghosts and premonitions, laid the groundwork for my interest in scary and supernatural tales. Growing up in a sleepy little town that could be lifted straight out of an early Stephen King novel didn't hurt either.

The first story I ever remember writing was in the third grade, and it was about a tiger, a lion and a giraffe who were stranded on a raft that was being circled by sharks. (Dreamworks, give me a call!)
In high school, I dabbled with the idea of a novel and a number of short stories, song lyrics and a spec script for WKRP in Cincinatti. I even submitted it. And the show's producers were very kind in their rejection letter.

Undaunted, I continued to write, but being extremely shy, I continued without showing it to many people. Those high school years culminated with me writing a series of very racy short stories about a heroine named Casey and her two suitors named Richard and Ben. Those stories got a lot of attention from the employees of the Howard Johnson's Thruway Truckstop when they were found floating around in the break room. Because no matter how shy, every writer needs acknowledgment.

I skipped out on my senior high year to attend Herkimer County Community College and study photography. Still active in writing, I became a coeditor of the school's literary art magazine,  The Phaeton. The emphasis in photography helped develop my predilection for storytelling in terms of pictures, and the magazine was awarded a first place certificate by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. The association made specific  note of a short story I had written, saying  "We like the technique of Diane Johnson's story of restricted narrative. Suspense is maintained by a slow peeling off of the details... almost until the end."
 
I furthered my education at Binghamton University with a major in Cinema. I was fortunate enough to study under some very unique minds who were well known in the NY Underground Film world - Ken Jacobs and Ralph Hocking. And as part of my final thesis, I wrote my first feature script, titled Autumn Blood, which Ken Jacobs refused to read.
But the script went on to become a finalist in the NISSAN Focus Screenwriting Competition for college enrolled filmmakers.

I have since moved to Southern California where I continue to write and raise a family. Autumn Blood has been rewritten and has evolved to become a top 4 finalist in the 2007 Indie Gathering Film Festival. And I have been fortunate enough to have other titles place well in competition through the years.

Most of my scripts share a little bit of truth about me and my personal history. The Schoharie, for example, uses the backdrop of the Upstate New York Thruway Bridge collapse of 1987, an event that occurred close to my home town. The Saga of Ben and Casey comes from my days as a shy teen working at the Thruway truckstop. Perfect Prophet holds the reflections of people I have met within its characters.

So, as I continue to live and meet people, I continue to write. And I hope one day that those scripts will be able to entertain and scare you all!

Diane M. Johnson
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