Editing Chase Parker, by Jesse Hendrickson and Laurel Aarsvold, is a full-length comedic screenplay which journals the story of a one-hit-wonder children’s-book author whose life spirals out of control after the death of his father, who was also his illustrator. The script has been gaining some buzz as of late, including an Overall Winner crown in the most recent Smashcut Screenplay Contest, which sent Hendrickson and Aarsvold to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival to attend a reception held in their honor. We had a chance to interview the much-heralded writers about the screenplay, Sundance, and other goings on…
1) Where did the concept for the story come from? Jesse has been teaching in an elementary
school for ten years and over time he started to develop some ideas for a Children’s Book. At
the same time he was living a life that many people in their twenties live; having good times
with their friends and creating memorable experiences. Chase Parker was developed out of
that dichotomy where, one hand, you have this person who is put into this important roll,
teaching kids, but at the same time is completely irresponsible in their personal life.
2) How did you end up co-scribing with Jesse? Jesse developed the main story, outlined the
majority of the screenplay, and started writing. To begin with I started by helping him with
structure and adding some fine details to bring out the story. When I really began to
understand where he was going, I fell in love with the story. At that point it truly turned
into a collaborative effort and we both began writing scenes and sending them back and
3) Has “Editing Chase Parker” won or placed in other competitions? In addition to the Smashcut victory, we were also an Official Selection of the Burbank Film Festival and we won the Comedy Genre of the Table Read My Screenplay Competition.
4) How long did it take you two to write the screenplay? Jesse started writing in Oct of 2010 and I
joined in December of 2010. By June 2011 we had our first draft completed. Actually the
story hasn’t changed too much from that point. There have been some minor changes and a
lot of fine details that have been added since then.
5) How did you and Jesse handle the work-flow (he writes a little, you write a little?) It started off with him driving the story. I filled in the blanks and tied things together but as I learned
where he was going, it turned into more give and take. He’d write then I’d write and we’d
edit each other’s work. It was a lot of fun.
6) Any good stories to pass along from the writing, or since its completion? Well we almost died
driving up to Park City during our trip to Sundance. It snowed something like 16 inches and
we were driving this 2 wheel drive Ford Fusion. The rental company failed to let us know we
might need a four wheel drive vehicle. The Police told us to turn around at the
next exit because we didn’t have chains. They failed to point out you couldn’t even see the
exit more or less drive it, so we kept on going. All those years of Midwest winter driving
really paid off; otherwise we might still be in a mountainside ditch.
7) Are you working on any new projects/screenplays now? I currently have a stage play titled “Oh
Grace” opening in Salado, Texas March 9th. I am continuing to shop around other
screenplays (White Coyote, Junk, Three Dead Boyfriends) I have written with my other co-
writer, Diane Richards. Jesse continues to work on a screenplay he is writing with a friend
titled “The Conference.”
…Everyone that picks up Editing Chase Parker seems to love it (see accolades above). If you’re a filmmaker or literary agent, do yourself a favor and reach out to Jesse and Laurel for a copy of their work via EditingChaseParker.com.
Screenwriters Jesse Hendrickson and Laurel Aarsvold with Sundance event host Scott Prestin
Jesse Hendrickson pictured with Actor William Fichtner at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival