Lieutenant Colonel Paul Sinor is a true family man and has received numerous awards and decorations from the U.S. and foreign governments during his notable military service. Since his Army days Lt. Col. Sinor has been working as a Producer, Technical Advisor and Project officer. He has two daughters, Coleen who I’m sure we’ll see her name in credits soon and Victoria who teamed up with her father to write the Asylum action films “2012: Ice Age” and “Airline Disaster”. Victoria also works as a Location Manager, Script Supervisor, Associate Producer, Military Advisor and Actress. A talented family and fortunately for us Victoria and Paul shared their writing and personal experiences with us.
I have to assume you have an amazing relationship to write more than one screenplay together. Do you have a great time writing together or by the end need some time away from each other?
VICTORIA: I think that we have a relationship like no other. You can’t top having a writing partner that you’ve known your entire life. It puts real meaning behind the statement “We just *get* each other.” Also, if there’s ever any disagreement I can just whine to my mom and she’ll set him straight. We have a unique method of working with each other in which we can designate conversations as either Father-Daughter or Partner-Partner. We truly do have a great time working together and I wouldn’t want another writing partner for anything. As for needing time away from each other, never. Given that we live on opposite sides of the country, we have the burden of physical distance already there. Whether we’re working or not, we talk every day. I wish that we were physically closer to each other!
PAUL: I can’t think of better writing partners to have than my two daughters. Vicki and I have done two script that have been produced and we’re working on a couple of other ideas and rough drafts. Colleen, my other daughter is, like Vicki, a hyphenate. She has appeared in one of the films I did and is now studying animation and computer graphics. She also provides us ideas, so it’s a full collaborative effort. Our work habits are distinctly different, but very similar if that makes any sense. When we get on a project, I usually write the first draft in what our manager, Bruce Economou calls my “stream of unconsciousness.” I write linear so I start at the beginning and don’t stop till I get to the end. That leaves a few potholes, some the size of the Grand Canyon that Vicki has to fix. Even though I don’t see her all the time, we talk every day and the phone conversations start, (Complements of my dad,) “Okay, I got one for you,” and off we go.
In addition to writing together you’re the proprietors of Valhalla Military, a military technical advising firm for film, television and print media. How does it work and typically who are you clients?
VICTORIA: I’m going to defer this one to Dad.
PAUL: Valhalla started off as my attempt to stay in the Technical Advising business after I left the Army where I was the Army Liaison to the TV and Film Industry in Los Angeles. We have a few clients, but it’s mostly script review and technical assistance prior to the beginning of filming. I found that I would rather write and control what goes on the screen than to try to make someone else’s idea of what the military does fit the box they seem to put it in.
Victoria you grew up an “Army brat”, what was the most exciting memory you have from all the military events you attended. Also, Lt. Col. Sinor any stories about Victoria that makes you laugh or cringe when you think about it?
VICTORIA: Of all the military events I have attended, by far the most memorable one took place in 1987. I was given the ultimate honor of laying a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Simply being at the tomb is a touching and heartbreaking experience. Participating in honoring those fallen soldiers is something that I don’t think will ever be topped. If Dad starts telling stories of my cringe-worthy behavior, you may run out of internet…
PAUL: The stories I could tell….I think any child who grows up as a “military brat” has a very heavy load to carry. They are constantly the new kid at school. One school year the girls were in three different schools in two states in one school year. You’re either ahead or behind the class and you generally have no friends except the other MB’s. For Vicki and Colleen, it may have been even more difficult than for others because of some of the jobs I have had. I served on the Staff of the Secretary of Defense in DC. I took them to the White House so many times they found they would rather stay home on Saturday morning and watch cartoons than go back again. I was the Technical Advisor for the TV series Tour of Duty in Hawaii which was another very high profile job. They seemed to come through it in good shape and I think I can speak for them when I say we wouldn’t change a thing.
Who decided to add Lt. Col. Sinor in “2012: Ice Age” and are there any other characters names you slip in there that are friends, family, or pets?
VICTORIA: The character of ‘Lt. Col. Sinor’ in Ice Age was a surprise to us. Putting our names in is not something either of us would do as we both prefer to fly as much under the radar as we can. As for the other names? We constantly have to re-name our characters before we call a script finished because we use the same ones over and over again. We like to use the names of friends and family when and where we can both because it’s fun for us and them and because the honest truth is that we’re both crap at coming up with names.
PAUL: I found out about the LTC Sinor character about the same time everyone else did. I’m sure David Latt did it as a very nice guesture, but I would never have put my own name in a script I wrote. Vicki and I both have a terrible time coming up with names and I use the same ones over and over when I first start a script. My first male character is always Mike Howard, a very good and life long friend, and my first bad guy is always Harry Wingate, my brother-n-law. That way I don’t have to stop the creative flow and think of names. They’ll come when I need them. The one name that has been and always will be in anything I write is a form of Billy Hart. He was my best friend and left this earth much too soon. I promised his daughter I would keep him alive as long as I am.
What are you currently working on and can we expect any future films written by the both of you?
VICTORIA: We always have something cooking!
PAUL: The next collaborative effort is GILA, a remake of the 1959 SyFy Classic, Giant Gila Monster. I am a writer producer on it and Vicki is a producer. You can find several web sites with info on it.
Now when I watch their films I’ll know the background and strong relationship of the writers. I admire them because it would be a dream come true for me to write with my daughter, but I don’t see that happening since my six year old already is a better writer and I would make her look bad.
Be sure to check out their IMDB pages, Valhalla Military, and Gila’s IMDB pages.