Interview with 2013 Winner Pierre Chance
Our 2013 Winner, Pierre Chance, answered a few questions on his winning script, DEMAIN, JE ME TUE.
How did you become a screenwriter?
Demain, je me tue is my first screenplay. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: there was a story within me that would not be still.
Where did your idea for your screenplay originate?
Around 2003, I came across several news articles on the Japanese Internet suicide pacts, and shortly after, the photograph of “The Falling Man.” And the light went on…
But I was not in the right state of mind at the time to write such a story. Then, in April 2010, I decided to apply to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and wrote the first five pages.
As for the “why,” I will quote Louise Bourgeois: “It is a feeling of defeat that motivates the work, and to repair the damage that has been done. What is funny about that is that these horrible feelings turn out to make work which people find very happy. This is a transformation.”
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Besides my broken English? The screenplay format. I find it restrictive. Images do not translate into words well. And cinema is a visual medium first and foremost.
Then, writing with clarity. I take long breaks between drafts to kill my darlings.
Do you see yourself directing your own screenwriting?
What is your ultimate goal as a screenwriter?
To direct Demain, je me tue.
What movie would you recommend for great storytelling?
The work of Robert Bresson. His “unadorned,” elliptical storytelling. Words only say what the image can’t. And, like Dostoyevsky, the effect is often presented before the cause. As in life.
Do you have any writing habits or routines?
I write each day. In fact, the film is always in the back of my mind. I take the film with me wherever I go, whatever I do.
Who do you go to for feedback?
I seek feedback from a variety of sources, both from filmmakers and non-filmmakers. Feedback is essential, especially critical feedback. Positive feedback tends to make you feel better, whereas critical feedback tends to make your screenplay better.
What do you do when your story is stuck?
I take long showers.
Why did you enter BlueCat?
I decided to apply to all the major screenplay competitions and screenwriting labs. And Bluecat is one of them.
What’s your best advice to the new screenwriter?
A screenplay can take months or years. Take long breaks between drafts. Get back on your feet quickly following rejection. Stay true to yourself and your vision.
To quote Yoko Ono: “Listen to your heart / Respect your intuition / Make your manifestation / There is no limitation / Have courage.”
To contact Pierre (professional queries only), please email him at [email protected]
All images in this interview are from the lookbook for DEMAIN, JE ME TUE.