archive for the ‘31 Days Around the World With BlueCat’category

Brussells, Belgium – Daniel Calatayud

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

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Why did you start writing screenplays?

I always been a cinéphile, but I was a bit disappointed with Hollywood films; some are great, but most are too average.  Because of this, I started to watch manga animation.  Ten years ago, I fell in love with a manga called Deathnote – the story is so well structured, intelligent, original and addictive that it inspired me to reach the same level of storytelling greatness.

What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?

Matrix, Gladiator, Scarface, and many more masterpieces.

What is your highest screenwriting goal?

My highest screenwriting goal is to make everyone who reads or watches [my screenplay] captivated and tremble with excitement.

What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?

For me, dialogue is the most difficult because each character is different.  Each character’s way of talking and personality is different too so you have to adapt yourself to each character’s way of thinking.

What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?

I feel like I’m good at captivating and entertaining.  For years, I trained myself to understand what make someone glued to his or her chair when they watch a movie or read a novel or a screenplay. For me, a film has to be entertaining in order to be considered good.

What do you see is the biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood?

Simply the lack of passion.  Hollywood really need great screenplays – it’s vital for the future of the moviemaking industry. A lot of screenwriters write to get rich, which gives Hollywood brainless and soulless blockbusters. Great screenplay can’t be written if you are not passionate about it. There’s a proverb saying, “If you don’t love yourself, other people won’t either.”  For screenwriters, it’s the same!  If you don’t love your screenplay, neither will other people.

What screenplay have you written wich you feel most Proud of and why?.

It’s “Replay” – the screenplay I’ve sent to the BlueCat contest this year.  I’m proud of it because it’s my first one and I’ve shared a lot of personal experience that I dissipated secretly throughout the story.

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Transylvania – Dracula

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

dracula why did you start writing screenplays

 

 

Why did you start writing screenplays?


I needed to distract myself from falling into the perils of immortality.  Putting my pen to the paper proved to be a fanciful distraction from my longest days in the coffin.


What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?


Daybreakers, The Lost Boys, and Fright Night.  If I do say so myself, I’m quite the inspiration.
 


What is your highest screenwriting goal?


I’d like to write a screenplay that stars myself.  However, I don’t show up particularly well on film.
 


What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?


I only use a quill pen, because pencils are little miniature stakes.  Therefore, it takes me forever (relatively) to write a screenplay.  It’s a real pain in the neck.
 
What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?
I can mesmerize my audience and have them hanging on my every word.
 
What do you see is the biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood?
Too many screenplays follow traditional conventions and formats.  I’ve been living for over five hundred years, and I can tell you that the best advice is to just do.  Unless there’s garlic in the near vicinity, in which case, do not.  
 
What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?
Well, I assisted Francis Ford Coppola in writing my autobiographical film.  That’s one of my bigger accomplishments in this century.Well, I assisted Francis Ford Coppola in writing my autobiographical film.  That’s one of my bigger accomplishments in this century.

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Transylvania – Count Dracula

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Why did you start writing screenplays?

I needed to distract myself from falling into the perils of immortality.  Putting my pen to the paper proved to be a fanciful distraction from my longest days in the coffin.

What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?

Daybreakers, The Lost Boys, and Fright Night.  If I do say so myself, I’m quite the inspiration.
 
What is your highest screenwriting goal?

I’d like to write a screenplay that stars myself.  However, I don’t show up particularly well on film.
 
What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?

I only use a quill pen, because pencils are little miniature stakes.  Therefore, it takes me forever (relatively) to write a screenplay.  It’s a real pain in the neck.
 
What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?

I can mesmerize my audience and have them hanging on my every word.
 
What do you see is the biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood?

Too many screenplays follow traditional conventions and formats.  I’ve been living for over five hundred years, and I can tell you that the best advice is to just do.  Unless there’s garlic in the near vicinity, in which case, do not
 
What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?

Well, I assisted Francis Ford Coppola in writing my autobiographical film.  That’s one of my bigger accomplishments in this century.

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Belgrade, Serbia – Paolo Rizzardini

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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BlueCat: Why did you start writing screenplays?

Paolo Rizzardini: Because I don’t know what I love more: to invent stories or to watch them. Writing a screenplay allow me to do both things at the same time. It’s like killing two birds with one stone
 
BlueCat: What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?

PR: Lost in translation is a master piece and every time I watch it or read the screenplay I have goose bumps.  In general I think that’s what every movie should give us, regardless of the genre.
 
BlueCat: What is your highest screenwriting goal?

PR: To be on site every time they shoot a movie based on a screenplay I wrote and, one day, to win the Oscar for the best original screenplay thanks to one of those stories.
 
BlueCat: What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?

PR: The beginning of every story is always painful. I struggle to get the right rhythm immediately.
 
BlueCat: What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?

PR: I am an engineer and because of that very methodical. This is a plus if you manage to find a balance with your creativity and I think I can do it quite well.
 
BlueCat: What do you see is the biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood?

PR: Visibility. Getting your script on the right desk and being sure it receives the right attention. It’s all about that.
 
BlueCat: What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?

PR: I contributed to different screenplays, but “No tomorrow”, the one I submitted for this BlueCat competition, is the one I like the most. I think it has the right “ingredients” – even if it’s not a conventional story – and I like a lot its “speed”.

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Transylvania – Dracula

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Why did you start writing screenplays?

I needed to distract myself from falling into the perils of immortality.  Putting my pen to the paper proved to be a fanciful distraction from my longest days in the coffin.

What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?

Daybreakers, The Lost Boys, and Fright Night.  If I do say so myself, I’m quite the inspiration.
 
What is your highest screenwriting goal?

I’d like to write a screenplay that stars myself.  However, I don’t show up particularly well on film.
 
What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?

I only use a quill pen, because pencils are little miniature stakes.  Therefore, it takes me forever (relatively) to write a screenplay.  It’s a real pain in the neck.
 
What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?

I can mesmerize my audience and have them hanging on my every word.
 
What do you see is the biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood?

Too many screenplays follow traditional conventions and formats.  I’ve been living for over five hundred years, and I can tell you that the best advice is to just do.  Unless there’s garlic in the near vicinity, in which case, do not
 
What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?

Well, I assisted Francis Ford Coppola in writing my autobiographical film.  That’s one of my bigger accomplishments in this century.

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Guadalajara, Mexico – Jaime Fidalgo

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Jaime_Fidalgo_Catu00E1logo

Why did you start writing screenplays?

I’m a filmmaker turned writer due to the necessity of having a script under arms as a “more accessible” way of fulfilling that dream of directing my first movie. In the US, it is pretty difficult for a short film director to be presented with a first feature project to direct (not written by him or a friend); in Latin America (México), it is hardly impossible for that to happen! As first, you have to prove that you’ve got what it takes to handle a feature length…by having already directed one…or several! Thus, with that in mind, I put short films aside and ventured into a screenwriting learning experience in Vancouver to discover what a beautiful and hard art this is to create.
 
What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?

Watching any movie can do that for me. I specially enjoy that moment when you subconsciously put the movie apart and start to go through the beats and acts, to further analyze why that particular movie got into you…or not! I actually just had the opportunity to attend this year’s Morelia International Film Festival, watched tons of movies, and all I would talk afterwards with my fellow peeps was about the script and why it worked or why it didn’t!
 
What is your highest screenwriting goal?

To be able to direct and make the story I’ve written on paper come to life on screen, and thus take an audience in a roller-coaster ride which they can share, talk and discuss afterwards, as I’ve done with almost every movie I’ve watched. And in a more psychological level, to have the ability to loose fear of the blank page and transform those images that always circle the mind into new stories that mature as I become a better person and filmmaker.
 
What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?

The premise of the story: that starting solid idea that tells you that something happens to a particular character that will embark him on a journey to get/find/fight/seek for something and the obstacles that will arise because of that. I’ve also found it pretty hard to be able to apply the 7 structure points to an idea that hasn’t fully developed yet (it gets easier once it’s written!), but once I venture into pages and there’s a glimpse of that blurry goal the protagonist has, then the beauty of the writing happens, as once the characters start to act by themselves, then that is the moment when I realize that maybe there’s something of value on hand.
 
What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?

Maybe it’s because of my filmmaking background, but I feel pretty confident envisioning scenes and being able to write them in a way that the reader can be taken by it, as it would occur in the screen, by presenting only the elements first needed to create and discover the scenario. I also have a blast with dialogue, as once I understand the dynamics of the characters, who they are, what they fear and what they want…then they pretty much start to do their own talking!
 
What do you see is the biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood?

I feel there is a lack of character development that is shadowed by too many action-packed scenes. Yes, character is action, but if that particular character (no matter if it’s a “filler” one) has no personality, goal, urge, fear… Then it all just becomes a cardboard scene that no CGi will be able to save. The audience is a smart judge, and being accustomed by all that special effects, people are now asking for characters, for someone to invest their time and emotion in that 2 hour movie they chose to watch.
 
What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?

The screenplay I’ve submitted to this competition called Levantón. I don’t want to call it a first as I’ve written a few “tries” in the past, but what I’m most proud of is that I feel it actually makes sense! All the “beats” are there and every action is taken due to a change or need of character. The movie has few of those, and I’m happy to claim that every single one of them has a personality, a trait and an arch that is trigger due to the story, even the dog! It sure is all about the journey and the transformation.

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Lagos, Nigeria – Isedehi Aigbogun

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 10.47.21 AM

Why did you start writing screenplays?

I had a dream in January 2013, and all I could think was, “This is a movie!”  I told my sister about this dream and was going to sell the idea of this great movie to any movie producer that would listen to me.  My sister rebuked me; she thought it would be a big shame if I, a long-time English student, didn’t write it myself. I was ashamed of myself. I started first by writing it as a prose, and scribbled notes of the story events on little sheets – which I now believe is what we call plotting.  That, to me, was my script!  I did a little research online and realized I had only just started. I began to read and follow more screenwriting blogs.  Then I got a hang of screenwriting.  I know I’m not perfect, but practice always makes perfect.

What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?

Dramas. Thrillers. Soap operas. Cartoons. I always appreciate the use of meaningful language and events in them.  I also love to watch nonsensical movies; they make me feel like a good writer, because I can now easily detect all the errors therein. I’ve never seen movies the same way since I started writing screenplays.

What is your highest screenwriting goal?

To be like the professionals that we all acknowledge. I would particularly love to be as prolific and as popular as Steven Spielberg.

What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?

The re-writing process. It’s a time where you have to take out the junk that you once held in high esteem. It’s like a mourning process, and it’s a very melancholic experience for me.

What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?

Dialogue. I’ve always been known as a drama queen, and people around me admit that I have a way with words. I don’t know how that is; I don’t even notice it. I guess it’s in my nature, and it somehow affects the way I write dialogue. Although, I still struggle with keeping the dialogue in my screenplays “lean and mean.”

What do you see is the biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood?

I see no problems. I’m one for rules, and if we have to keep to 120pages/2hours, then we must, at every cost, even if it means cutting a 170-paged script to 120. Off course, a lot of details would have to go, that can affect story telling, but if the cinema executives want 2 hours, give them 2 hours if you’re serious about making profit in the end.

What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?

I started writing in 2013, and I’ve written two screenplays so far.  One, I believe, is fully ready; the other, well, it’s a musical drama, and I’m still writing the songs for it. That’s another course on it’s own.  I am proud of all my screenplays, also, because I didn’t study at any screenwriting school, but can [still] write screenplays.  I was particularly elated that the BlueCat reader who read my script didn’t pick apart my write-up like how I see it done to some scripts on the BlueCat website. My reader had some nice comments to make about my story, and I appreciate that.

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Helsinki, Finland – Anders Vacklin

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Anders Vacklin

BlueCat: Why did you start writing screenplays?
 
AV: When I wanted to study writing, there really weren’t that many writer’s programs in Finland for poets or for prose writers. That’s why I applied into a film school, not knowing anything about screenwriting. I got in and I fell in love with the form.
 
BlueCat: What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?
 
AV: If it’s well written, I will watch it – no matter the genre – and it will remind me of why I love screenwriting. I actually took it to my mission to watch – now and then – movies about writers. My favorite is Adaptation. It’s great as it shows two sides of screenwriting with the brothers – the engineer and the artist. I feel like an engineer and I’m struggling to be an artist too.
 
BlueCat: What is your highest screenwriting goal for yourself?
 
AV: If a film that I wrote gets made, I can die as a happy man. But I think I will die  a happy man anyway – trying to achieve it. Writing it.
 
BlueCat: What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?
 
AV: My struggle is linked to my need to overthink everything and to not let my intuitive side do its thing.  I love structure and planning to write the story. Now I have started to write morning pages and develop my intuitive side.  I owe a thanks to the screenwriter Corey Mandell whom I heard talk about this in an On the Page podcast.
 
BlueCat: What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?
 
AV: Perhaps it’s my ability to take feedback. I will try every note on the paper to see how it works, even though I might not agree with it. Almost every time the feedback is right and I’m wrong.
 
BlueCat: Do you feel that screenwriting is different in your country than it is in Hollywood? If so, how?

AV: In Finland competition isn’t as fierce as in Hollywood but then again only a handful of movies are made every year. So there are less opportunities for screenwriters in Finland than in Hollywood. And I would argue that screenwriting is kind of a new craft in Finland, because there was a long period of auteurs. But I believe that there has been a change in the way of thinking and screenplays get developed more and more.
 
BlueCat: What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?
 
AV: It’s Red Run. It’s personal to me. It’s a story where I am inventing a past for myself. And it’s a also a sort of a letter my dead grandmother who didn’t talk about the past. I got great feedback from BlueCat to Red Run. I did it exactly what the feedback suggested and sent it to PAGE Awards and won Bronze.

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Madrid, Spain – Raul de Miguel

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Raul

BlueCat: Why did you start writing screenplays?

RM: At university (I studied in the US) I enjoyed screenwriting and editing the most.  However, my screenwriting attempts never went more than a few pages for my short movies. Destiny made me a professional video editor, but the part I like (and what I feel I’m best at) about editing is story and structure. This took me into writing and reading, so I started professional reading classes and writing classes, but was more focused on narrative and creative writing. Then, the day I watched Inception, I left the movie theater and told the person I went with: “This is why I must write.” So the day after, I started my first script, NARAKA.

BlueCat: What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?

RM: I watch a lot of movies. A lot. (like 250-300 some years) And I try to watch every genre. Koreans are making great movies (Oldboy, the Chaser, Memoirs of Murder and I Saw the Devil would be my top pick), but Inception was the movie that threw me into writing. I also watch Se7en quite often. I love Red Rock West and Saw because they are cheap and amazing (almost perfect) movies in its own way. I’ve watched every Kubrick movie several times, and also Wilder. They mastered different genres. I love Forrest Gump and Brokeback Mountain as well. I just finished reading the script. Everyone talked about Hedge Ledger as the Joker, but I think Ennis del Mar was a much more difficult role. He was able to say so much with so little. It was the absolute loneliness of a human being. I think it is one of the most complex characters written in modern film. I could go longer with the shirt scene or Ennis and his relationship with his daughter… but it’s enough I guess. Sorry, I’m a writer!

BlueCat: What is your highest screenwriting goal for yourself?

RM: I’m going to be a professional screenwriter. I’m moving to LA to take more classes and improve my English. It has to be perfect. Good is not enough. It will be a matter of time. I will make it sooner or later. Even if I have to sell my house to live meanwhile.

BlueCat: What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?

RM: English is my second language, and my mind is structured in Spanish. So to me, even though everything is hard, dialogue is a big problem, especially when it comes to comedy. I have two in mind (one is animation and another one is black comedy) and jokes are extremely hard. I try to make it sound as natural as possible, but I’m not quite there yet. Also style. I write too much action and too much description. It sounds too correct. I need my readers to be able to read faster and easier. I need more vocabulary to make it purely visual.  And of course, prepositions are evil in English. I always need someone to proofread my stuff.

BlueCat: What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?

RM: Since I don’t think I’m that great, yet, I tend to think of original stories. I think I’m quite visual as well, so the mood and the worlds of my scripts work, or I’d like to think so at least. Also, the structure (never purely lineal so far) and some transitions work good. I’m a professional video editor, so maybe it helps to see the transitions or certain cuts.

BlueCat: Do you feel that screenwriting is different in your country than it is in Hollywood? If so, how?

RM: I think that is a tricky question. I’m sure screenwriting is actually different to what we see. Most of the things produced in my country are comedies (although it’s changing in the last years, gracias a Dios), because it’s safer, but it doesn’t mean people don’t write other things. And, even though some people might hate me for this, I think, overall, scripts are worse outside Hollywood.  Of course there are exceptions and some really good movies out of Hollywood. Spain is doing amazing horror, better than Hollywood in this particular genre, at least in my opinion. We have some great directors, such as Balagueró, Bayona or Amenabar, who was the first one who succeed (and gave others the possibility to do so) with the two great flicks: Tesis and The Others. After that, people understood that (good) horror can make money as well, and then it came REC (a masterpiece), Sleep Tight, the Orphanage… but the real problem is that producers don’t risk. Same everywhere.

BlueCat: What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?
    
RM: I’ve only written three, NARAKA, The Blank Book and Revelation. I’m working on my fourth one already (The Five Senses) and so far, I have ideas for three or four more. But I guess the one I feel most proud is the first one, NARAKA.
When I started to write I didn’t even have a story, I just didn’t know it, but all I had was and idea. I only had two scenes from a short movie, the first and the last. So I sat there and when I wrote those scenes, around 30 or 35 pages, I realized that I did not have a story, I had no idea what I should write about. I had nothing to tell. But I sat in front of the computer every night after work and every weekend for 14 months, and I got a first draft. Then I did a few more and I started to send it.  It made it to the second round in Austin Film Festival and to the Semifinals in Bluecat, so I guess it’s not bad for my first script in my second language. It wasn’t that great either, so hopefully, I can only get better.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina – Carolina Machado

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Carolina Machado

BlueCat: Why did you start writing screenplays?

CM: I love the idea that a story that I imagined can be materialized on a screen and be felt and seen by other people.  Dreaming about the day I can actually watch my script turned into a movie blows my mind.

BlueCat: What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?

CM: There are so many memorable movies: “The Godfather”, “The Notebook”, “Back to the Future”, “Lolita”, “Sixth Sense”, “21 Grams”, “Man on Fire”, “The Matrix”, and “Terminator.” These absolutely different movies have one great thing in common: they don´t expire. Each one of them, in its own genre, tells a story of which you never get tired. I love mostly two types of movies: ones that shows you a situation or reality you have never seen before and ones that can truly touch you heart.

BlueCat: What is your highest screenwriting goal for yourself?

CM: My highest goal as a screenwriter is that my scripts can achieve what I love about movies: to thrill the audience. And by audience, I don´t refer only to the people who actually watch the movie; I mean readers, directors and producers too, because in the end, they are the ones who can turn your script into a movie.  I´m just starting to write, so in a short term period, I would love to see one of my scripts turned into movie, even if it´s a short one.

BlueCat: What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?

CM: I guess it would be finding the time and inspiration to write. I currently work in an office doing everything but writing and it takes away most of my time and energy, so It´s difficult for me to find the right moment to write. Anyway, I always try to keep on writing  even if it´s not as fast as I would like to.

BlueCat: What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?

CM: I  think I have good and original ideas. I´m concise and concrete: my scenes describe clear images and actions, making my scripts easy to read and catchy. I feel I have the ability to tell simple stories in an intimate way. I also always try to find slight dramatic twists to keep the drama and fluency of the story.

BlueCat: Do you feel that screenwriting is different in your country than it is in Hollywood? If so, how?

CM: I totally feel screenwriting is completely different in Argentina that it is in Hollywood.  To begin with, most of our scripts tend to be written in a hyper realistic way, leaving no room for genre movies. Fortunately, this tendency is slowly changing.  Within the past years, we have been starting to see different movies that try to move away from that style.  In my country, it’s also very common that the screenwriter and the director are the same person. That’s the reason why I find there’s little diversity in the films’ thematic, and it also narrows down the participative field of other screenwriters that may have new ideas and different perspectives.  On the other hand, it is a fact that Argentine movie scripts are tied to budget availability. As our industry isn’t solvent enough, most of the stories end up being more intimate and cheaper (less actors and scenery) than the Hollywood ones.  For certain genres this might not be encouraging, but it is an attractive way to inspire screenwriters to be ingenious enough and write original stories that don´t require super productions.

BlueCat:What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?
     
CM: As I said, I’m just starting to write, so I hope the script that will me make proud is the only that I´m currently working on. It’s called “Small Reality” and it’s about a  lonely sensitive six  year-old girl who’s desperately struggling to be understood and heard by her adult environment. I feel proud about it because it’s really a challenge to write a feature film with a child as a main character.  It’s even more challenging when it’s about a special kid that’s not exactly like the other ones. It’s an intimate moving script, and I really hope I will hook who ever reads it.

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