Mario Martin’s love for storytelling originated as a young boy when he felt inspired to tell stories through writing. Early on he honed his craft at the Maine Media Workshops and Boston Film & Video Foundation, and has attended many screenwriting boot-camps, worked with multiple coverage companies as well as many screenwriters.
Mario helped develop and produce the award-winning film LA LUZ, on which he collaborated heavily, and helped finance the indie feature GAS STATION JESUS starring renowned actor Patrick Bergin.
Mario followed this success with his writing-directing debut CITY LOVE, a provocative short about a soulful, flamboyant talk radio host starring critically acclaimed actor poet, and performer, Antonio David Lyons of AMERICAN HISTORY X and HOTEL RWANDA.
Mario has dedicated the majority of his life to becoming a better storyteller, writer, and filmmaker. When asked “Which part of the creative process do you enjoy most?”, he often responds, “All of it. The writing, crafting and fully developing your story, making sure it’s on the page.”
Mario enjoys rolling up his sleeves to work with fellow screenwriters. Taking an average story and making it a page-turner “is a lot of work, but fun and so worth it.”
What was the last thing I read or watched that I considered to be exceptionally well written?
How did you get your start in the industry?
I made my first film CHECKMATE at eighteen. That experience hooked me for life. I later wrote, directed and produced CITY LOVE, which played in nine film festivals, and worked on several feature films. Primarily my time is invested in the craft of screenwriting. I’ve written eight screenplays and am working on my ninth as we speak. I truly enjoy it.
Is recognizing good writing something you think can be taught or learned?
Yes.I believe it must be taught. It’s important to study film as to how it works so we can become better screenwriters. Understanding the technicals and there are a lot of them and knowing how to apply. Watching a movie or TV show is only what we SEE and HEAR. In a screenplay, that’s how it must be written. Only what the audience will SEE and HEAR.
What do you consider the components of a good script?
Great question. I’ve constructed an algorithm for screenwriting for just that reason. Action lines properly written. Character development, plot, and structure. Really it’s many things. At a bare minimum, there are twelve essential elements working together for great storytelling/screenwriting.
What are some of the most common screenwriting mistakes you see?
Action lines that read like a novel. Action can only be what the audience will see, period. “Show, don’t tell.” Giving each character their own voice.
What story tropes are you just tired of seeing?
What are some key rules or guidelines writers should know?
-Action lines. Write them properly!
-Know your plot
-Know your genre
-Character development and characterization of characters.
Have you ever read a script where you thought “This writer really gets it?” If so, what were the reasons and why?
I most certainly have. A well-written screenplay is exactly like watching a movie. I become completely engaged, lose track of time, am entertained, I care about what’s happening, and find myself thinking or talking about it later. How enjoyable that story was. All the elements needed for a screenplay to work were present and in place.
How do you feel about screenwriting contests? Worth it or not?
I don’t have a hard and fast opinion on that. If you win or place highly in a contest, that’s a high honor and might open a door for you. There are many other ways to get your work out there these days. Contests are just one of them.
How can people find out more about you and the services you provide?
Readers of this blog are more than familiar with my love/appreciation of pie. What’s your favorite kind?
Favorite pie? You may have met your match! Ha ha! Pumpkin. Hands down. All others are a close runner-up. I love pie too.