Eleanna Santorinaiou – Athens, Greece

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BlueCat: Why did you start writing screenplays?

Eleanna Santorinaiou: I wrote my first screenplay when I was 21. But before my decision to become a film writer/director, I had already written two theater plays for children which are still running.  I’ve also written a couple of short stories.

BlueCat: What is your highest screenwriting goal for yourself?

ES: To see one of my stories turning into a massive film that people will enjoy and embrace.  Of course, I would also like to be able to live off my work.

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

ES: Me biggest struggle is to begin the first page and return to my writing routine. I can have an idea for months, write notes and ideas about it, but starting the actual writing is always a battle for me. I am always afraid of the blank page.

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

ES: I look for movies that have three-dimensional characters, who evolve and change through the story. But I always go back to some specific movies like “Citizen Kane”, “Billy Elliot”, “The Life of David Gale”, and “Atonement.”

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

ES: I take a very small event and I enlarge it in a way that it becomes universal. I would say that I am focusing in micro history.  I create interesting characters who are everyday people and I observe their lives through a story that pushes them to change and take risks.

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

ES: Yes, certainly. I come from Greece and I live in London, so I would say that the European approach is [creating] smaller stories. One script doesn’t resemble the other. On the other hand, Hollywood films follow a recipe in order to become mainstream and expand to a universal spectrum.  

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

ES: The latest feature I’ve written is my biggest achievement so far. It is not a conventional story, nor is the way I wrote it. I had struggled a lot to take it all out; once I did it, I was very happy and proud. I still need to edit a bit but I feel that this has potential to turn out in something big. Fingers crossed.