Aidan Mc Aleer

   Screenwriter/Filmmaker/Photographer
Northern Ireland

1. Your script Forgiven won award in the category Best Feature Script. How was the script inspired?

Forgiven was inspired when I thought I saw a figure of a child outside the door of the shower followed by a handprint on the door whilst I was in my university hall. Once I saw that I went back to my room and began writing the basic concept idea.

2. How did the writing process go? What was challenging during writing?

The writing process ran from researching different aspects of Horror & of course real-life laws & experiences for continuity purposes. I would write scenes in a notebook or on my iPhone notes & transfer it to iCloud when travelling on the bus home every weekend. The most challenging part of the process was how to bulk out the idea in creative ways once the main plot was complete & what subplots/character background could I add-in to make it more interesting.

3. Tell us about your background and when did you decide to become a screenwriter?


I left secondary school after completing my GCSE exams and studied at South West College doing BTEC Creative Media Production mainly because of the Audio & Music side but quickly fell in love with Film & Photography. Once I completed that course I decided to do a Foundation Degree at SWC before progressing to complete my degree in BSc Cinematic Arts at Ulster University Magee Campus under Great care & supervision of the lecturers. They helped me progress my abilities and develop my full potential but also narrow down the areas that I was best suited to which turned out to be Screenwriting & it was through my final year of Uni I wrote Forgiven for my final project which has now won several awards including Best Feature at the Prague International Monthly Film Festival.

4. Films that inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Tough Question but Tarantino Movies, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola & Tim Burton movies would be big influences. I must admit having a soft spot for Rom-Coms and feel-good movies so Nancy Myers would be a big influence on my writing at times.

5. Who is your biggest influence?

My biggest influence would be my grandfather because he taught me to do what I love and I will live a happy life but if you want a filmmaker I would say Tim burton & Stanley Kubrick because I love what they do/done with their films

6. Do you have a favorite genre to work in? Why is it your favorite?

I would always have written Romance, Comedies and Adventure but am starting to like writing Horror scripts currently. especially if an idea pops into my head, I'll grab whats close & start writing what I have.

7. What’s your all-time favorite movie and why?

Harry Potter would be my favourite as I have grown up with it & reading the books, I always felt a connection with the series. my 2nd favourite would be lord of The Rings.

8. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be?

Again, Tim Burton would be a dream to work with, but Tarantino I would say would be fun on set as well.

9. The one person who has truly believed in you throughout your career.

My whole family have always believed in me which is a typical answer but one person has to be my lecturer from Ulster University Dr Victoria McCollum. She always sat with me giving me tips & making sure I was being the best I can be whilst inspiring me & others in the class.

10. What was the most important lesson you had to learn as filmmaker?

Patience that has to be the biggest lesson I have learned SO FAR.

11. What keeps you motivated?

Family, Friends and getting out and about being Creative, basically keeping as active as I can & doing what I love.

12. How has your style evolved?

from writing basic cheesy Romance to more complex and diving deep into character development I feel I am learning the art of screenwriting more in-depth & developing my own way of writing.

13. The project(s) you’re most proud of…

"Forgiven" as it is my 1st Screenplay that got me my degree & I put so much work into writing it & improving it.

14. The most challenging project you worked on. And why?

The current project I am writing which is still untitled, there are times I feel the story isn't going anywhere so scrap it or parts of it and start again.

15. What are your short term and long term career goals?

I would love to have forgiven made into a picture with the vision in my head & shown on the big screen & to develop a career as a Screenwriter & work on many more movies whether they are mine or not.

16. Your next projects?

The next project I am hoping will be another thriller/horror but it is currently a slow process of developing the story.

Thank you for your great answers! I believe they inspire many of you to read this article!

If you want to continue following this exceptional artist, here are his social networks:

Instagram: a.mcphotography1
Website:    amcphotography.uk