INTERVIEW: Robert Tobin

Meet screenwriter Robert Tobin, winner of Ermantourage’s Panel with a Purpose screenwriting contest in 2019! Rob is a produced, award-winning screenwriter, published novelist, former motion picture development executive, and author of two screenwriting books (“The Screenwriting Formula” and “How to Write High Structure, High Concept Movies.”) as well as screenwriting DVDs. He is featured in the book “The Top 50 Indie Writers in The World” by Del Weston, Theresa Weston, and Nabi Zee.

In the last two years Rob wrote the script for a $30 million, English-language, animated feature for a Chinese studio, wrote two book adaptations, and rewrote the script for a $3 million feature for a Canadian production company. 

Rob’s feature script “Storefront” was produced last year as a feature titled “Get Married or Die,” and distributed globally via 108Media. The film featured a cast of Golden Globe-wining, and Oscar-and-Emmy nominated actors and is now available on Amazon Prime.

Rob was a contributing writer on the English language Indian thriller “Dam 999,” which was released by Warner Brothers and shortlisted for a Best Picture Oscar. Rob co-wrote “Broken,” produced for the PGA Make Your Mark film competition. “Broken” made the semi-finals of that prestigious competition, judged by Michael Douglas, Kathy Bates and Danny Devito. 

Rob’s script “Face Time” is in development in Canada with a multi-million dollar budget and high profile director attached. His script “Love on the Adriatic” is in development in Canada. 

“I’m blessed,” Rob says, “I’ve got it all – friends, family, and my writing.” Regardless of what further success Rob may or may not experience, his boundless love of the actual process of writing makes it certain he will continue to live the dream.

Briefly describe who you are as a creative! What got you into pursuing a career in entertainment, and why your field specifically? 

I’m a produced, award-winning screenwriter, published novelist, published non-fiction book author, former motion picture development executive, and partner in Closer Apart Productions. I have four scripts in development and my last script, “Storefront,” was produced as a feature in 2018. I also just finished writing the first season of an animated series for an Indian studio. I started writing short stories when I was three (not kidding) about battling monsters invading our back yard. So it seems I was born into writing and/or I simply carried on from a previous lifetime.

Can you think back to your first piece of work and what you learned most from it? How much of your voice has changed since you began?

My first piece of “work” was a short story about monsters in our backyard when I was three years old. I remember sitting at the little desk in the bedroom my older brother and I shared. It didn’t seem at all strange. It felt, rather, as natural as breathing. 

Do you feel you are still finding your voice? What can you say your voice is right now?

Yes, I’m definitely still trying to find my voice. I’m reminded of Hemingway’s quote that went something like “All I want to do is to say one true thing.” I feel the same humility and frustration in my own writing, even after being produced, winning awards, being interviewed — I still am chasing that one true thing, that one story or even scene that rings so true it reaches straight to the hearts of the readers or viewers.

What do you hope to be known for during your career?

As a good guy. Someone who genuinely cared about others. Screw the writing, the accolades and even the money, if I’m remembered as a writer who helped others through his writing, who made a positive difference, then I will be more than just happy; I’ll be thrilled literally to death.

In what ways do you plan on utilizing your platform to better the world?

I want to promote love and compassion in my stories, but in as realistic a way as I can. Mary Poppins may not play in this current environment — Hell, something as almost inhumanly brilliant as Hamilton is getting second guessing now, so I don’t want to whitewash anything or be a pollyanna. I want to present the world as it is, but then show people how much better we can make that world.

What do you have in the works at the moment?

As a partner in Closer Apart Productions I’m part of putting together a package for my script “Chasing Spielberg.” I have three other scripts in development, I just finished a political thriller with a non-binary CIA operative as the lead, and I’m creating the treatment for my lastest script, “The Woman on the Bench.” And I’m hoping that somewhere in all those scripts there is that one true thing.

-Where can folks find you on social media!

by Erman Baradi

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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