BlueCat: Why did you start writing screenplays?
Luiz Fernando Rohenkohl: The whole idea of writing was camouflaged in my dreams of becoming a director until one day I noticed this was something I should give a try.
I’ve spent a decade doing special effects with the objective of making a short movie. In the past 5 years I’ve been trying to write and produce an animated short. One day I reached the tipping point and gave up. Looking back, I realized I spent five years writing ten minutes of animation. I had the epiphany I was trying to write a 10 minute animated short with the structure of a full length feature. After giving up I thought I could put to use everything I learned and write a full length feature.
BlueCat: What is your highest screenwriting goal for yourself?
CB: My dream has always been to make a movie and it still is. The means and the rewards may not be clear, but the dream is still there.
BlueCat: What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most?
CB: I feel the creative burden can get you dry and frustrated. I guess writing is like a Rubik’s Cube, when you move one side the other gets dislocated. Inspiration is something pivotal, you need to seek where the sparks come from.
BlueCat: What movies do you watch to remind yourself that you love screenwriting?
CB: I think you can spot the magic in any film. I often rely on Kubrick, Fincher, Nolan—director centric movies. Also, movies that get good reviews and internet buzz. However, my passion for film started much earlier with things like Jurassic Park, The Terminator, Back To The Future, all the popcorn movies I watched growing up.
Back in the day, with films like Titanic and Home Alone they would reopen the cinema and do special screenings, I remember Cinema Paradiso being the first movie I watched in the movie theater, but now the theater has became a night club.
BlueCat: What do you feel you do well as a screenwriter?
CB: I think I have an eye for seeing the movie in the pages. I am very visual and screenwriting is visual coding.
In my art, I always struggle to elicit a psychological response, and writing provides the opportunity for using more than just an image. You can infuse it with ideas and projections that are in opposition, create contrast with music, and evoke an idea through a simple, effective camera move. Movies are a deep and layered canvas.
BlueCat: Do you feel that screenwriting is different in your country than it is in Hollywood? If so, how?
CB: I think here in Brazil the difference is the structure of the industry. You need to be a dragon slayer, director, producer—you can’t just be a writer. I enjoy Brazilian movies but the pace of the industry can’t compete with Hollywood’s organic approach. The films here seem to always be a step behind of what the audience demands. We end up with television being the more effective Brazilian entertainment and then import Hollywood films for the theater.
BlueCat: What screenplay have you written which you feel most proud of and why?
CB: The one I am sending in to this year’s BlueCat competition, it’s very personal. I think a movie is made by its process, not by trying to make a certain movie, and with this one I ended up with a movie reminiscent of movies I enjoy.