Hi, I’m Neil Chase and this is my story.
Ten years ago I was a frustrated Electrical Engineer, working at a thankless job that did little more than pay the bills. What’s worse, it did not excite me in any way.
I had always loved – and had even found some early success with – creative ventures such as writing (as a kid, I was featured in an anthology of short stories for the 1988 Winter Olympics), but as a working professional, I wasn’t carving out any time in my busy days to do anything creative. I felt stuck.
That all changed when I took a class that changed my life.
I had recently moved to a new city for work, and I decided that I needed to get out and meet some new people. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do, but I’d always been interested in creative pursuits, so I decided to try an acting class. I figured that writing was a more solitary activity and that acting would help me meet more people.
That one class ended up completely changing the course of my life!
I loved everything about acting. I loved the people I met while acting (and some of them are still among my best friends to this day!). I felt excited to do something creative, something that had to do with stories and human emotion and thinking out of the box!
But, as much fun as I had acting, I also remembered the thrill I used to feel when I had written a great story in school. I remembered the feeling of accomplishment, knowing I had created a written work that people loved reading.
So, when the acting class ended, I started to make time for writing. At first, I worked on a novel. I got a few chapters into it, but without a clear outline, I lost motivation to keep writing once the plot points got complicated and the demands of work took over.
I was so frustrated. I had gotten a taste of the thrill of writing again, and I wanted to keep going. But, I just didn’t know enough about storytelling yet. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten myself a writing or story coach to help with my written work. But, I didn’t. And so my novel was left unfinished.
Luckily for me, I discovered a unique acting community in my city. Many of the people I had met in the acting class were attending a filmmaking cooperative, affectionately called “Monday Night Club”.
During these evenings, half of the people would work as actors and the other half would be the filmmakers. We worked in small groups to film a short movie each Monday night, and then watch and critique them all together at the end of the night. It was a fantastic way to improve my acting skills, as well as learn a lot about filmmaking.
It was also the creative kick in the pants that I needed to start writing again.
In general, all of the groups would film the same short script. So, a new script was needed each week. I started writing some of these scripts and found that I was good at it. I started learning more and more about the power of storytelling, and proper storytelling techniques and strategies.
People started asking me to help them with short scripts and stories that they were writing. I continued to learn more about storytelling structures and formats, pacing, character development, and dialogue.
As time went on, I decided to try my hand at writing something longer again. I soon wrote my first feature-length screenplay.
I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment that it gave me.
Seeing my name on the title page of that screenplay was such a thrill. I was a real screenwriter.
Soon after, I entered that first screenplay into screenplay competitions, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I started winning them! I knew then that I was on to something good.
At that point, I became motivated to keep writing. I wrote my second screenplay, and then my third. I entered more competitions and continued placing in and winning many of them. It was so gratifying to know that someone else valued my work, and saw the promise of my writing.
Next, I decided to take one of my screenplays and adapt it into a novel. It was a huge endeavor, and it ended up occupying my writing time for over a year, but this time, I was determined and prepared to finish what I started. It was such an amazing feeling to actually finish a 322-page novel – my Gothic Horror-Western, Iron Dogs.
Iron Dogs went on to receive 5 star reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and Reader’s Favorite, as well as be named the Gold Medal Winner for Best Horror Fiction and Best Western Fiction at the Global Ebook Awards in 2019, the Winner for Best Horror: Supernatural/Paranormal at the American Fiction Awards in 2020, the Winner for Best Thriller at the Author Elite Awards in 2020, and the First Place Winner for Paranormal Supernatural Fiction at the Chanticleer International Book Awards in 2021, among others.
And that brings me to today.
I’ve now written or co-written over twenty screenplays, including “Christmas Cupcakes”, “Tsunami Falls”, and “Boneyard Racers”. My screenplays have won over 90 international writing awards, including from Script Summit, Las Vegas Film Festival, FilmQuest, A Night of Horror Film Festival, Screamfest, West Field Screenwriting Awards, Hollywood Horrorfest, and Cinequest.
I’m most proud of winning the FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards Grand Prize, the Neoverse Writing Competition Grand Prize, two Global eBook Awards Gold Medals, and the Arthur Rosenfeld Award for Excellence in Dramatic Writing. I was also featured in the book, “The Top 100 Indie Writers in the World” by Del Weston.
These days, I spend my time writing new screenplays (I have a film currently in post-production as both writer and co-director), writing more novels, recording audiobooks, acting, teaching screenwriting courses, and helping other writers and filmmakers create their best work.
When I’m not writing or working, I’m watching great genre films and TV shows. I love everything about movies and pop culture. I’m also a dad to two beautiful daughters, and I love watching their creative spirits bloom!
How I Can Help You
I’ve now spent years coaching and mentoring other writers, both novelists, and screenwriters. I’ve provided story coaching and script rewrites to notable filmmakers, such as Dylan Pearce (“A Frosty Affair”), Paul Spence (“Fubar”), and Danny Mac (“Heel Kick!”).
I love helping creative-minded people who have unfinished or under-developed stories. People who know that they have a fantastic story inside of them, but who have not yet actually been able to get their story down on paper at a level that satisfies them.
I’ve helped many people with half-finished screenplays or novels – ones that contain great overall ideas and storylines, but need guidance with plot points, dialogue, pacing, or structure.
If you are someone who has a fantastic story idea and is motivated to get that story out to the world, contact me, and let’s work together! I’ve helped writers with short stories and scripts, feature-length screenplays, and even novels.
I hope you find something of value here at my site, neilchasefilm.com. I created this blog to help fellow writers learn more about how to create entertaining, meaningful, and well-crafted stories. You can check out my 1:1 coaching services, and see how I can help you in a more personal way here.
I look forward to sharing ideas, stories, and inspiration with you!