Stellenbosch, South Africa – Erika Nortje

Erika Norte

BlueCat: Why did you start writing screenplays?

Erika Nortje: After reading an unpublished novel I wrote, a friend commented, “I love it, it’s like it has a soundtrack!” I frowned and figured, perhaps then it makes more sense if I write screenplays. Movies and TV series have always inspired me and I like the idea of entertaining and inspiring people too.
 
BlueCat: What is your highest screenwriting goal for yourself?      

EN: To see people touched by what I have written, in the way many movies and stories have touched me over the years. To see actors and production crews having as much fun in the process as I did while writing the material. That end product, that symphony – making every project my favorite, giving it my all!  And finally, but not least, staying faithful to what God wants, whether I make one movie, or I’m the next big thing. Semper fi (always faithful).

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

EN: Three things, writing loglines, writing synopses, and writing in every nook & cranny of time I can find, because this is not yet my day job

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

EN: My top 10 are: Dreamer, Mr. Holland’s Opus, While You Were Sleeping, Cool Runnings, Elizabeth Town, Message in a Bottle, Eight Below, Fireproof, Alex & Emma, Shanghai Knights.

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

EN: I feel I create characters that people are going to care for. They absolutely drive my stories, making it unique and filled with pure emotion.

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

EN: Yes, I feel there are less opportunities and encouragement here in South Arica. Hollywood screenplay competitions and sites like InkTip, BlueCat and Script Pipeline (to name but a few) gives everybody a chance. It gives you hope and an opportunity to grow and improve your craft. We cannot always afford these international resources (the exchange rate is just too steep), but at least they are there – available, professional, welcoming and I like it.

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

EN: Face the Music. It is an adventure thriller with a plot which came together so amazingly. I love the characters, I would easily write them into another dilemma one day, which they will find their way out of and change my life in the process. The cherry on top – part of the story takes place in South Africa’s flagship conservation area, the Kruger National Park.

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