When I was a kid I was obsessed with reading. I read very fast and some days I would read three books in one afternoon. It was just very natural for me to start writing my own stories. Being a writer was always my plan for the future and I never really questioned it. I started writing stories when I was about 7. I wrote my first play at nine and it was porn. It was original even though a bit disturbing. Apparently I knew very early on that my work would revolve around desire. Then when I was sixteen I met a Tv producer. He asked me what I wanted to do for a living and I say I wanted to write. He just answered “Go for screenwriting then, you’ll make loads of money.”. He lived in an enormous house with an outdoor jacuzzi in Paris, so I told myself “You want to follow this guy’s advice.”. That’s how I ended up here.
You are doing the Saint Martins writing course, what have you got out of this course?
What type writing style do you think you have ?
Is writing about women a style? More seriously, I don’t know what style to call it. I try to show different lifestyles to a broad audience and I have mostly women characters. My first feature film is about a sexual fetishism called “pet-play”. This screenplay is a good sum-up of my writing: flawed female characters interrogating a different way to act as a sexual being. I like dark humour, the irony of life coming to bite my characters in the ass. As I am still quite young I expect my writing style to change, but at the moment it is perfectly coherent with who I am and what I want the audience to see.
What are you working on right now?
I am still working on The Puppy (the movie about pet-play), the screenplay will be ready around June. Also I started writing a Tv series about Sugar Daddy websites. We are lucky to have John Yorke teaching us this semester and he is helping me with that project. In addition, I wrote a novel in French and I am currently gathering feedback to take it to its…1000th draft? Until I find it good enough to try to get it published. You have to be really passionate about writing if you want to make a living out of it, because at some point it is getting a LOT of writing, and rewriting.
What advise do you give to new writers
I am a new writer! But I would say one thing: always finish what you start writing. Even if it was to be a feature film and you make it a short film or a tv pilot. You can’t go anywhere without a finished project in your pocket. Y need to have something to give them. Also, if you can film what you write, absolutely do it. It is easier to show to producers, but also to friends and family. No one likes reading scripts apparently. And last – that was a lot of advice from a new writer aha – life is hard enough, so write about what you love.
You just had your writing read out out a rehearsed read, how do you find this process useful?
This was infinitely helpful from the beginning. Without realizing it you have to pitch the story to your actors, and explain them who they are in the script. You can learn a lot about your character just by selling them to someone else. When I go (really excited) “Hey yours is a complete bitch but she’s gorgeous and badass” I know the character belongs to the story, you have to feel that it fits. During the rehearsing process you are constantly getting various reactions on your text. When at a rehearsal an actress says a line and everyone including you can hear that it does not work, it is amazing. The little uneasy feeling that you had reading the scene on your own finally makes sense. Also, listening to the director when he explains to the actors what is happening makes you immediately know if your writing gives off the right idea. If the director doesn’t get it by reading your script, no one will. Then comes the day of the actual show and this is the last and the most important test: the audience. If they don’t laugh or react to your dialogues, it is bad. Might not even be your writing’s fault, but it might be time to ask around what went wrong. So in a nutshell the process is incredibly helpful because you get to see and hear your work and take it to another level.
What is your fav screenplay of all time?
There are so many amazing movies and tv shows that it’s horrible to pick just one. I would probably go for American Beauty. It has everything. Fantasy, intolerance, masturbation, sexual disorientation; multiple stories with a fantastic end.