As the world and his wife knows (thank you Facebook and Twitter), my film ‘Best Woman’ was selected as a semi-finalist in this year’s Scriptapalooza screenwriting competition. Although a winner, I didn’t scoop the BIG prize – that went to a guy called Andrew James Carter and his film ‘Juice’.

Curious to know more, I tracked Andrew down on Twitter (fast becoming the most indispensable resource in the world today, after Google) to congratulate him on his success and find out more about his movie.

Turns out, he’s 26, a fellow Brit and lives in Milton Keynes. He is currently working through the final year of his PhD in Astrophysics at the Open University. His area of research is Extrasolar Planets but his passion is writing. If you go to his website you will be able to see his considerable body of work, including loglines.

He hasn’t had anything produced yet but thanks to his amazing win he’s now on the hunt for an agent. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he’s snapped up and put under lock and key, so I took the opportunity of asking him a few questions this week.

LM: Congratulations Andy, can you tell me what your winning script ‘Juice’ is about?

AC: Juice is a crime drama about a cynical hitman – known only as ‘Cane’ – who accepts five different contracts on the life of London crime-lord, Alastair King. However, as Cane puts together the pieces of his plan, he soon finds himself managing both his mission and his clients’ ignorance of each other. Inevitably, Cane’s balancing act starts to fall apart and he becomes hunted by both his target and his employers.

LM: Where did the idea for ‘Juice’ come from?

AC: Juice grew from a short-story I started writing during my undergraduate days at the University of Leicester. I never actually finished the story, but the plot stayed with me and eventually became part of the protagonist’s back story.

LM: Did you think you were in with a shot of winning Scriptapalooza?

AC: I was convinced I wouldn’t even make the finals – so much so that I didn’t even look for my name when the names were posted. I actually read two entries past my own name before my brain kicked into gear and I realised I was through. I only thought I might stand a chance of reaching 1st place once or twice in the week that followed but I refused to get my hopes up. With the time difference, I had to stay awake until 2am to find out that I’d won. I probably woke my neighbors.

LM: What happens now?

AC: At the moment I’m looking for representation with a view to getting ‘Juice’ optioned and, touch-wood, maybe even produced. My second feature is almost complete and I’ve got many ideas for features and pilots that are just waiting on the drawing board.

LM: And last but not least, what are you going to do with the $10,000?

AC: Well most of it will go on food and rent – glamorous, I know – but I’m also planning to get a new laptop and a large pin-board for story-boarding. I might even treat myself to a new pair of running shoes.

Andrew and I then nerded out over character arcs and writing technique, but I won’t bore you with that on these pages. If you want to hear more technical script-chat, discover Andrew’s writing influences, and read about the many changes ‘Juice’ underwent during the writing process, click here for the second part of the interview.

Anyone who’s ever seen the movie ‘Tales From the Script‘ will know that getting half a toe in the door is part of the key to film-making success. His win should at least guarantee that his script will be read – a tough battle if you don’t have the contacts. So watch this space – and good luck Andy!