Christmas is coming in July! We’re thrilled to introduce you to our newest romcom instructor! Rick Garman is a writer who specializes in holiday romcom movies, and he’ll be teaching a class on writing your very own romantic comedy holiday movie. Want to learn more? Read on to learn about Rick and his approach to writing holiday romcoms.
How Did You Discover Screenwriting?
I started as a playwright, with a couple of productions in the 1990s that won some awards (which are now just things I need to dust). I transitioned into writing novels and travel guides but kept working at trying to make a career out of film and TV with a bunch of “almost” moments but no real success. In 2015, a friend of a friend presented an opportunity for me to submit ideas to a company that was developing movies for television, and based on the idea and some writing samples, they bought one from me entitled “Late Bloomer.” That aired on PixL and was a big success, which started my path in the TV movie world.
What are You Working on Now?
I’m working on several TV movies for a production company that will be airing on various channels, including a couple of Christmas movies, a royal romance, and more. In addition, I am developing an indie film that we hope to shoot later this year; a comedy and an action film that we are targeting toward streaming services; a fiction podcast that mixes a crime story with a ghost story; a stage musical, and the next novel in my “Interitas” series. I also write and produce a series of theatrical cabaret shows in Savannah that mix scripted scenes with live performances of various songs from Broadway to pop to standards and beyond.
Do You Have a Celebration Ritual for When You Finish/Sell a Script? What is it?
I try to take a day off to do absolutely nothing before I start working on the next thing.
How Did You Get on Hallmark’s Radar?
The movies that I did for PixL got their attention. They bought an original idea from a pitch that became “Christmas in Homestead,” which aired in 2016, and since then I’ve gone on to write, co-write, or executive produce about two dozen more for them.
What Do You Love About Writing Christmas Movies?
I love the positivity of it. In a world gone mad — which is really the only way to describe current events — it’s a nice balm to spend some time working on a story that’s all about the magic of Christmas; friends, family, and community coming together; and a happily ever after ending. These movies may not win awards or garner critical acclaim, but they make people happy. I’m proud of the fact that I have created entertainment that has given people some “comfort and joy” for a couple of hours.
What Do You Wish You’d Known About Writing TV Christmas Movies When You First Got Started?
That there is no such thing as “too much Christmas” in a Christmas movie.
Do You Have a Go-To Screenwriting Snack or Drink?
Anything chocolate, but specifically Dove Promises Mint Chocolate. I order them by the case.
What Makes You Excited to Crack Your Computer and Get Writing?
It’s always exciting when I’m working on something in which the characters seem to be more in charge of the story than I am — when they become almost “real” and it’s more like I’m channeling their story than creating it myself. It sounds like one of those crazy writer things, but that’s what makes me wake up (or not be able to go to sleep) and immediately go to the computer to find out what’s coming next.
What’s Your Best Advice for Someone Just Getting Started on Their Screenwriting Journey?
Keep writing, even when you’re not getting paid for it. It took me a long time to make a living at screenwriting, but I never stopped writing and because of that I have a deep shelf of material that I can pull from at any given moment. It also helps hone your skills and can be really good therapy.
We know you’ll join us in welcoming Rick to the ProPath family! We hope you’ll pull up a virtual chair and learn all he has to teach. Join Rick in his 10-week Holiday RomCom workshop beginning June 6th.