“My screenplays imitate life with cinematic value added.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Janet Walker

2023 August 25

“My screenplays imitate life with cinematic value added.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Janet Walker

-Who is Janet Walker?

Janet is a writer, a creative, screenwriter, journalist, publisher, scholar, historian, pursuer of justice, someone who is hopeful; hopeful that through her experiences she can become a voice for change and strength, just as women throughout history who were victimized became brave, embolden, and determined to seek justice and force the system to change.

-What inspired you to become a screenwriter?

My journey to becoming a screenwriter began with my desire to be a great American novelist. For about two years I explained to my sister, Debbie Walker, that I was a writer. And finally, she explained, gently, “writer’s write.” So, my journey from pen to paper began then. For many years that followed my writing was abbreviated creative shorts, ideas that just didn’t become fully fleshed out. I decided to take a college creative writing course, which led to a journalism pursuit and where I began pursuing other writing genres, from creative writing to journalistic pursuits to poetry and journals, movie reviews, and now screenplays.

For me, the pandemic provided the missing element needed to concentrate fully on screenwriting. The lockdown allowed me to devote 100% of my time to developing an idea that had been simmering for about for a decade. I took an online class and it helped clarify the specifics of what I felt were areas of weakness.

I often joke that my first screenplay, “The Six Sides of Truth,” took 10 years and three months to complete. After that, as I felt like anyone can write one screenplay, I felt personally challenged to write a second screenplay, which is “The Wednesday Killer,” and then felt more secure in my writing, so I wrote “The Manhattan Project.”

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I am hopeful that my screenplays and others like it will expose those who believe they can commit violent crimes without concern over the consequence and more than simply expose, can change the system. I hope screenplays, documentaries, and true crime can all cause and create change, become the catalyst for change in the judicial system, become what investigative reporting was in the 1970s and without fear follow the story and expose individuals even to the highest levels.

My screenplays imitate life with cinematic value added. Obviously, there is not an exactness to what I write, however, I did live and work in Manhattan, and experienced victimization and severe repercussions for seeking justice which became a source of inspiration. The screenplays are my way of exposing the individuals for the heinous criminal actions and the system for its coverup.

I developed a television series “Justice Watch Investigates,” which focuses on true crimes and reexamining cold case crimes through a different lens, without bias, using advanced science, and field savvy experts may possibly bring closure to families and expose weakness in an overwhelmed system which I hope can change society.

-What would you change in the world?

That’s a big question with many answers. I would change the double standard which even for women who are educated, talented, and successful, confront. These women will tell stories of times, or seasons,

when they confronted challenges to career advancement or faced obvious discrimination. I would ensure women had a level playing field, not simply in the entertainment business but across society uniformly. So many ideas and input are lost because women are shutout and silenced. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not a feminist, I just believe in equality, equality in work, equality in justice, equality without favouritism or nepotism or other generational or learned behaviours.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

That’s a great question. I suppose looking to the future means looking to the past first. 100 years ago, the film industry was in its infancy and introducing innovation that would transform silent films. With the introduction of high-tech advancement in filmmaking, CGI, animation, and IMAX-3D, in 100 years, I’m sure the developments in science, technology, and sound will create clearer, crisper, images and greater opportunities for more realistic presentation, even now, film technology companies are creating 3-D clothing software for filmmaking and digital reimaging software for archival purposes.

For the filmmaker the idea to go where no filmmaker has gone before . . . and as much as the film industry has projected the advancement of society, the truth is that I see the film industry serving audiences much in the same ways as our current cinematic opportunities.

Filmmaking may become easier, and there are young budding filmmakers all over the world sitting in darkened theatres, or watching on any device, dreaming of recreating something they’ve seen and immediately using a cell phone to record some event and creating mini-home movies.

So, where will the film industry be in 100 years? When one thinks about 100 years from now and matches that with young filmmakers who are in their 20s, 30s or 40s that’s at least half a century of filmmaking from filmmakers who have learned from those who have created culturally defining films and genres.

And one day, our most advanced and culturally significant films will be studied, which they are now, and film studies professors or experts will remark on the dated tools, which of course will be readily available and common in 100 years, that were used to create the iconic, genre defining, pictures or how these standard bearers in the industry changed the world of cinema and challenged their colleagues who challenged their pupils who felt compelled to move the bar forward. I guess the idea is everyone helps one, whether they are aware or not, each director influences someone, every screenwriter the same, and the industry evolves and advances.