Anders Vacklin – Helsinki, Finland
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.