Interview with Winning Screenwriter Katy Erin (STUCK)

1. What is your screenplay about?

STUCK is a sci-fi western short about a mysterious woman who crash-lands on a moon whose sole inhabitant is her only chance of survival.  Each of these women end up needing something from the other, but being strangers, neither is sure the other can be trusted.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-fi, western, dark comedy, LGBTQ+

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

As with all sci-fi, the action and the visual scope of the foreign world will only ever be done justice if brought to the screen.  But beyond that, I believe my strength in this script is the dialogue between the two characters, and the tension of their relationship.  This piece is really about two strangers looking into each other’s eyes and admitting vulnerability in a way all humans struggle with.  And so the joy of bringing this script to the screen would be to see these two characters come to life, and to feel their tension, their need, and their choices really become visceral for the audience.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?   

Epic. Gay.

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

I think the movie I’ve seen the most is also my all-time favorite movie, which is In Bruges.  Martin McDonagh’s mastery of dark comedy is, in my opinion, unmatched, and I often find myself re-watching the movie as I show it to new friends and loved ones.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay? 

I wrote the first draft 3 years ago after my semi-annual re-watch of Firefly.  I thought to myself, as an actor, I’d love to play a character like Nathan Fillion’s Mal, but as a woman, those roles are slim to none.  So I created one for myself.  It took a few years and rewrites to develop a story that did the characters justice.

7. How many stories have you written?

This is probably one of a dozen short films I’ve written, including my award-winning short Out of It, which also has queer themes.  A few years ago, I made my playwrighting debut at the Hollywood Fringe Festival with The Cure To Mortality, which was a queer, sci-fi, comedy musical.  I have a handful of spec features and pilots as well, all with a bend towards queer themes, sci fi worlds, and comedy (or dark comedy) tones.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

What an insane question!  Of course I can’t say I have a favorite song!  I suppose I will answer this by naming one song that had a very important impact on my life, which is “Nothing and Nowhere,” by Emily Haines and the Soft Skeletons.  And I’ll leave it at that. 🙂

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The first draft of this script got horrible feedback from almost everyone who read it, from friends to festivals.  The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was my ego, brushing off everyone’s criticism with a tearful “ugh, they just don’t get my vision!!”

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m an actor and a musician as well, so I’d say I have a passion for creation and storytelling in general, and I’m kept pretty busy trying to satisfy that passion in whatever way I can.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

FilmFreeway is so easy, clean, and user-friendly, in my experience.  It’s very organized and makes it easy to find the best festivals for your projects, keep track of your submissions, and promote your work.  I have nothing but positive things to say about FilmFreeway and suspect it’ll be the standard for festival submission for a long time.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I was looking screenwriting festivals and competitions that focused on genre and sci fi work, so this festival fit the bill perfectly – and I was really drawn to the perk of having a staged reading be the reward.  The feedback I recieved was actually very helpful and really thought-out, and I genuinely thought the suggestions I was given made the story stronger.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

CAST LIST:

NARRATION – Brian Carleton
Angelica (20s black) – 100 – Bree Ali
Grant (f 30s) – 92 – Stephanie Herrera

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