There’s nothing like taking in a good Woody Allen movie. At least, that’s how Lake Highlands High School senior Brian Ashcraft sees it.
And who knows, there may be nothing like catching a Brian Ashcraft flick 20 years from now.
Ashcraft recently won the grand prize for script-writing in this year’s America’s Best high school writing competition.
The national competition annually honors high school students for best writing in film, television, short fiction, songwriting, comedy, poetry and novel.
Ashcraft won the contest with a script he wrote for the weekly television drama “ER,” much of which takes place in the emergency room of a hospital.
Ashcraft’s sophomore English teacher, Deborah Goodwin, encouraged him to enter the contest, he says. Although Ashcraft thought his finished product was good, he didn’t expect to win the contest, he says.
“I entered it because you could win a computer,” Ashcraft says. “I didn’t think much of it.”
But Ashcraft recently found his script was selected best from among 9,000 entries, winning him an IBM ThinkPad laptop computer.
He also received a form letter informing him of his success and was invited to City Hall to have the computer presented to him by Mayor Ron Kirk.
The 80-page script, which he wrote during the two-week Christmas break in 1995, dealt with a drug addict robbing a hospital pharmacy.
Ashcraft says he came up with the idea while working as a hospital pharmacy volunteer several years ago.
“The big theme is how everyone has certain physical or mental stigmas that hold them back in life,” Ashcraft says.
Ashcraft has interned in Los Angeles for the past several summers working for the film industry, but he has no plans to jump into the industry any time soon.
Instead, he plans to attend college, he says.
“I want to live my life,” says Ashcraft, who is looking into several colleges located in the eastern United States.