Chuck Griffin is both a screenwriter and software engineer with an eye for detail and commitment to producing clean and well-structured code. As a Media Studies graduate from the University of Georgia and a Web Development graduate from Gwinnett Technical College, Chuck is a keen observer of trends and a quick learner of programming languages with a passion for startups and innovative solutions. With years of experience in creative writing and in-field experience in application design and development, Chuck decided to start ScriptMother. In this online screenwriting network, members can engage with a community of fellow writers and receive valuable reviews for their work.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Chuck Griffin: During my years in college as a Media Studies student at the University of Georgia, I had a passion for screenwriting and creative writing as it pertains to media and film. I spent several years working as a Script Reader for various production companies and film agencies in New York City. At this time, I wrote several screenplays, but my true passion was helping writers tell their stories and discover their potential in the creative writing process.
Years later, I decided to enter the field of web and software development. This may seem like a deviation from my passion for creative writing, but I was always interested in gaining a knowledge of the online industry, and wanted to obtain the skills to build web applications and provide solutions in the online world.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Chuck Griffin: Businesses can thrive in 2022 by offering innovative services to foster community. For example, ScriptMother helped screenwriters stay connected during the pandemic, exchanging ideas and fostering creativity. during this time, in-person and local writing groups became non-existent, and there was a great need for writers to stay connected and provide/receive much needed feedback for their writing.
By nurturing a creative community on an online platform, ScriptMother users could actively engage with one another while improving their writing. Not only this, but storytelling is more important than ever before, because simply put, writers “make sense of the world”. Contrary to what some might believe, a great writer is not someone who’s incredibly skilled at storytelling, or someone who has the most academic prowess in the field. A great writer simply has something to say, and decides to say it in the most genuine way with a story. That’s it.
And what better time to “say something” than now, during this unparalleled juncture in modern society? Running ScriptMother throughout the pandemic taught me that having an active and enthusiastic community where writers can share their stories and build their craft is more important than ever.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Chuck Griffin: I would advise businesses to focus on elevating the digital sides of their services. Since the pandemic, the nation has been moving in and out of lockdown, disturbing stability and normalcy for everyone. As an online service, ScriptMother’s digital community became even more critical during these periods of uncertainty. One of the primary reasons we could survive the pandemic is by focusing on digitization and crafting an online presence.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Chuck Griffin: The pandemic impacted the film industry as they shifted towards a new norm of virtual meetings and online collaborations. Screenwriters now pitch their scripts and participate in development meetings through online platforms like Zoom, making digital collaboration more important than ever. ScriptMother is uniquely positioned to help smooth the transition from in-person meetings to digital collaboration with our unique digital software. It makes it easy for screenwriters to edit each others’ scripts and exchange ideas safely and innovatively.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Chuck Griffin: I wish someone had given me advice on how to smooth out the transition to remote work and maintain my creativity while working from home. Working out of the house can make it challenging to get in the right headspace, and I’ve struggled with productivity from time to time. However, getting more involved with ScriptMother and reconnecting with other screenwriters helped reinvigorate my own creative writing, and I intend to continue fostering those connections in 2022.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Chuck Griffin: In 2022, I expect the film industry will continue fine-tuning its online and hybrid approaches to development. For example, when screenwriters want to sell a script, they can now just do it on Zoom rather than driving around the state or country to meet with production companies face-to-face. Hollywood and casting agencies now even do auditions remotely through platforms like Zoom. This alleviated a major screenwriting pain point for both writing platforms outside of the major cities, as well as screenwriters living outside industry hotspots like New York City and Los Angeles. So now I think the industry will integrate the online and in-person formats to create a hybrid approach that works best for everyone.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Chuck Griffin: In addition to ScriptMother, I also work as a software developer, so I am at the computer from 9-5 most days.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Chuck Griffin: As a screenwriting editing service, the ScriptMother team is constantly immersed in the world of other people’s stories. I believe this makes us better communicators and more empathetic employers, fostering an open exchange of ideas that extends from the script to the meeting room.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Chuck Griffin: For screenwriters, the real challenge of 2022 is finding a creative community where you can exchange ideas and talk openly about your work. The other challenge is getting over this idea that your story has to have the “biggest” audience or needs to be produced, or else it’s a failure. The undeniable truth is that real writers write for themselves, first and foremost. Therefore, your story isn’t a failure if it doesn’t get produced or purchased. On the contrary, your own creation is in an of itself, a massive achievement. And your dedication to your achievement is all that matters. This is a notion that I strive to help the ScriptMother community understand and embrace.
Unfortunately, the pandemic and the subsequent shift to online forms of communication have made it more challenging to meet new people. So as the world opens up again, the real challenge will be reconnecting with a creative community and rekindling those meaningful connections.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Chuck Griffin: I’m most interested in learning more about the software side of online marketing to lead more screenwriters to ScriptMother. My software development background has been an enormous help as I play around with landing pages and other things on the backend, and I’m excited to see what works and how ScriptMother can continue growing.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Chuck Griffin: This is a particularly pressing issue in the arts and entertainment industry. Screenwriters and other creatives are often undervalued, despite our work being the lifeblood of successful movies and television. At the same time, movie executives and decision makers in the film industry are pressured to invest in stories and ideas that attract the most revenue. Therefore, less risk is taken on more innovative and original ideas, and more focus is given to stories and writers that provide a “guaranteed success”. As a result, the audience gets the same thing. They might be entertained and satisfied to a point that meets the industry quota for revenue, but both sides end up “watered-down” by the process, which in the end is unfulfilling to both parties.
Some of that is changing, but in the film industry, more credit should be given back to the storytellers (aka screenwriters). Producers need to return to embracing and investing in what made film so special in the first place.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
If I could choose a business superpower, I would choose superhuman networking and communication. As both a writer and a software developer, one can imagine the lack of social skills that comes with a life spent mostly alone in front of a computer screen. It’s not for a lack of desire to network with others, but it can be very challenging to switch from writing code to speaking eloquently and engaging with others.
If I had this ability I would be very excited and determined to reach out to anyone and everyone in the film industry to share the value that ScriptMother can bring.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Chuck Griffin: Success, first and foremost, means nurturing a lively and creative screenwriting community, and I feel like we’ve achieved that with ScriptMother. In 2022, I want to focus on bringing industry professionals into the ScriptMother platform, allowing them to engage with our most talented and ambitious writers and their screenplays. I also want to launch our first annual ScriptMother Screenwriting Competition, where writers can enter their script to win some very coveted prizes and opportunities
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Chuck Griffin for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Chuck Griffin or his company, you can do it through his – Instagram
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