Janet Walker, Screenwriter and Haute-Lifestyle.com Publisher, Interviewed for Paris Film Awards Magazine

Janet Walker, the publisher of  Haute-Lifestyle.com, and a successful crime thriller screenwriter was recently interviewed for Paris' leading entertainment and award-winning magazine, Parisfilmawards.net. The interview is reprinted below.

Through a series of Q & A's, the feature dives into Ms. Walker's inspiration, and the transition to successful screenwriter and includes thoughts on the future of cinema and bigger career aspirations. The article can be seen by accessing this link: "Janet Walker Interview."

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Q. When did you decide you wanted to be an actor/director/ screenwriter?

A. My journey to becoming a screenwriter began with my desire to be a great American novelist. For about two years I explained to my sister, Debbie Walker, that I was a writer. And finally, she explained, gently, "writer's write." So, my journey from pen to paper began then. For many years that followed my writing was abbreviated creative shorts, ideas that just didn't become fully fleshed out. I decided to take a college creative writing course, which led to a journalism pursuit and where I began pursuing other writing genres, from creative writing to journalistic pursuits to poetry and journals, movie reviews, and now screenplays.

For me, the pandemic provided the missing element needed to concentrate fully on screenwriting. The lockdown allowed me to devote 100% of my time to developing an idea that had been simmering for about for a decade. I took an online class and it helped clarify the specifics of what I felt were areas of weakness.

My screenplays imitate life with cinematic value added. Obviously, there is not an exactness to what I write, however, I did live and work in Manhattan, and experienced victimization and severe repercussions for seeking justice which became a source of inspiration. The screenplays are my way of exposing the individuals for the heinous criminal actions and the system for its coverup.

I often joke that my first screenplay, "The Six Sides of Truth," took 10 years and three months to complete. After that, as I felt like anyone can write one screenplay, I felt personally challenged to write a second screenplay, which is "The Wednesday Killer," and then felt more secure in my writing, so I wrote "The Manhattan Project."

Q. How did your family react?

A. The arts aren't practical and, even with my NYU education, I majored in Journalism, as a writer first, my family, I don't think, saw the pursuit of artistic expression as practical. I don't blame them, I come from a small town in Ohio, and while my family was clearly dramatic, they had no professional creative pursuits that they spoke of. We're practical people.

So, the practical application of a craft allows the imaginative application to be realized and whether by coincidence or design, the ability to earn a practical living in other industries as a writer was withheld which postponed the imaginative expression. They weren't happy that the heavy investment I made in my future didn't deliver. It's been challenging to explain that attending NYU wasn't a waste of time and resource when nothing came out of it.

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Q. Do you have a Muse or a Role Model?

A. When I'm writing screenplays, I often think of characters I've seen in films that are close to the character I'm creating and say to myself what would this character say, or how far would this character go, at this moment? I'm informed by what I see, experience, study so, as far as a muse I would say writers and screenwriters are my role models.

Q. Who's your biggest fan?

A. Myself. I don't think I have a biggest fan (at least I hope not, in our current society a biggest fan can be dangerous).

Q. What brings you inspiration the most?

A. Nature. And I have religious beliefs so when I am awed by nature, I think of God, so the handiwork of God through nature.

Q. Which actor or director would you like to work with?

A. The talent pool available is so vast, with many, many talented actors, and directors, so narrowing it to one would be a challenge.

Q. Have you ever seen a film that was better than the book?

A. Yes. I want to say every film has the potential to be better.

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Q. What's the movie that taught you the most?

A. The Godfather trilogy, Goodfellows, Scarface that genre.

Q. About your artistic career, have you ever had the desire to quit everything?

A. Yes, honestly every day. I am compelled to write; I write as I breathe and unfortunately, I have been victimized by those who are unable to creatively develop anything. So, the suddenly creative seem to benefit more from my work, than I have, which creates more obstacles and increases the desire to quit.

Q. On set what excites you the most?

A. The process.

Q. And what scares you the most?

A. On the set? Nothing. In life, being caught up in a mass shooting or terror attack. Trust me, I've already confronted mankind's worst behaviors so the depth of humanity's evil does not surprise me, it's just the randomness, and unpredictability of evil.

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Q. What's your next project?

A. Well, besides working on moving the screenplays into production. I'm writing another screenplay.

Q. You can steal the career of an artist you really admire, who do you choose?

A. I would want to create a super talent so someone like Betty White or Norman Lear because of their longevity and Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep because of their depth – it's like a recipe, take a little of this and a little of that and create a super talent.

Q. An actor/director/screenwriter is made of....

A. Determination, grit, depth, vision.

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Q. For you Cinema is....

A. A learning platform.

Q. Do you think Black and white movies have a powerful impact?

A. Yes.

Q. Have you ever dreamed of winning an Oscar?

A. Yes. Having been to the Academy Awards as media many times, and having studio access, the idea of winning an Oscar isn't foreign. It's an attainable goal, I believe, and so I visualize it. Some days my confidence is higher than other days.

Q. Do you think you're going to win it?

A. Yes.

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