Watch THE AMERICANS “Revolution and Resolution”
Get to know writer Addison A A Bhuyan:
1. What is your TV spec about?
The Americans – Revolution & Resolution is about how Elizabeth and Philip are forced to take action when they are betrayed by their daughter, Paige.
2. Why does this spec fit into the context of the TV show?
I imagined this episode being the Season 4 premiere. And I wanted to kick-off the fourth season with a real bang! This would reward those fans who have seen every single episode of the previous three seasons, and get everybody excited about what’s to come next for these characters.
3. In this spec, you have invented the future conflict of the show with Paige and the Pastor. Why do you think the Pastor is with the Russians?
Do you think the writers are going to go that way as well? Well, after the season three finale when Paige tells her Pastor about her parents, I figured there are only two real scenarios for the character of Pastor Tim. One, he has to be killed because, even if he doesn’t believe Paige, letting him live still risks blowing Elizabeth’s and Philip’s cover. And, two, therefore, the only way of keeping his character alive is if he were a Russian agent. Now, even if I’ve overlooked a scenario, I’m guessing Pastor Tim turning out to be a Russian agent is at least as interesting and exciting as any other possibility. When I find a good idea, I latch onto it; So, I’m guessing that the real writers have found a different scenario, and they latched on to that idea.
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
Probably, the movie I’ve seen the most in my life is The Insider starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe. Because of the writing, the performances and the direction – and the fact that it’s based on a true story – it’s one of the few films I can watch once a month for the rest of my life and never get bored. Ironically, my favourite film I’ve seen only once: The Italian Oscar winner, Cinema Paradiso.
5. This is a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I started writing the first scene, the teaser, in May 2015. With the recent film, Selma and considering the current news event of Blacks and police shootings, the civil rights movement of the 60’s popped into my head. And then I thought if Paige is fifteen, then she was born in the late sixties. And that means that Elizabeth and Philip were probably living in America the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Plus, it would further explain the connection between Elizabeth and the former Black character played by the actor, Derek Luke! I finished the spec Fourth of July weekend. Then I took two weeks off before coming back to fix my script. And fix it I think I did.
6. How many stories have you written?
Oh, I’ve written a bunch of short films, a season of a web series and, in the past year, I’ve written an original pilot, a low budget feature and this spec for The Americans.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
Within the next year of 2016, I want to quit my day job. As God as my witness, I am too talented to be doing what it is I currently do for a living. If you read my spec and you find out what my current day job is, then I know you will emphatically agree.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
The biggest obstacle I faced was second-guessing myself. Is my writing good enough? Is my dialogue engaging enough to make the actor reading it think, Yes, I wanna play this character! When I finish this script, is anything significant going to happen? Or is it going to just sit on my computer, gathering digital dust?!
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love movies. When I’m in a theater and the lights go down because the trailers are about to start, I still get excited! And traveling… Every thinking human being should make it their business to see the world. It recalls that line from the movie, The Matrix when Morpheus says, You cannot be told what it is; You have to see for yourself.
10. What influenced you to enter the festival?
What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received? My oldest friend, Chris Pope, who I graduated film school with, talked me into entering WILDsound. And it turned out to be the best money I’ve ever spent on a festival. I agreed with most of the feedback on my script, and I went back and made changes. See, I don’t believe I’m talented because of my ego; but, because of the movies I watch, and the TV shows I watch, they tell me that I can do just as well.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
First, believe in yourself. How can you expect anyone else, like an agent, a manager or a studio exec to believe in you if you don’t even believe in yourself?! And try to be realistic about where your talent lies; when you watch a movie or a TV show ask yourself, Can I write a scene as good as, or better than they can? Can I write dialogue as good as, or better than they can? Lastly, write whatever you’re passionate about at this moment in your life. Because, when you’re finished, you’ll realize how much easier it was to write. And how much easier it will be to tackle whatever script it is that comes your way next.