Interview with Screenwriter Natasha Langridge-Thorpe (DOLLY DAYDREAM)

What is your screenplay about?

Dolly Daydream is about rebellious teenager, Katie Croxton who gets sent to a boarding school for “young ladies” after causing trouble for her Mother at her birthday party. She does not see eye to eye with Arnold Hemingworth, the headmaster at West Side Academy. Arnold enforces strict rules over his pupils. Katie’s reluctance to follow these rules gets her into trouble and isolates her from the other girls at the Academy. One of the rules pertains that the girls will have no contact with their family members unless permitted to do so. Nonetheless, Arnold allows one girl at a time to visit her family members if she is well behaved and conforms to the rules. However, Katie finds out that the girls are not going home and are being drugged by Arnold so that he can turn them into life-sized dolls to resemble his deceased daughter.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dolly Daydream falls under the mystery, crime drama/thriller genre.

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

I think that Dolly Daydream should be made into a movie because it explores inequalities that still exist in certain cultures today (in particular gender inequalities), as well as exploring the individualistic versus collectivistic mentality. More people in today’s society are learning about social issues and are taking steps towards helping others, even if this does not directly benefit themselves. Dolly Daydream attempts to educate people, while also entertaining it’s audience via cinematic and thriller tropes.

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

Psychological entrapment.

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

Mean Girls, definitely. It’s so quotable.

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

I worked on this screenplay for three months.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written a lot of stories and I have so many more ideas. However, at the moment it is roughly twenty.

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

My favourite song at the moment is Kill This Love by BlackPink. I only discovered their music recently and I really enjoy a lot of their songs.

When I was writing Dolly Daydream, I made a playlist of songs that related to the tone that I wanted to convey throughout the script. I listened to it whenever I was writing to make sure that tonally, my screenplay was coherent and consistent.

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

The main obstacle I faced was self-confidence. I changed my scenes so many times and I was initially afraid of committing to them. However, when I broke the script down into smaller chunks that I could work with, it all began to make sense. You’re never going to be one hundred percent confident with your writing, but it is important to always love what you’re doing.

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

I am passionate about voice acting and singing. I have a voice acting coach at the moment who I take regular lessons with and that has really helped me to come out of my comfort zone!

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

I have had a good experience with submitting my scripts to FilmFreeway. They are quick to let you know when the status of your script has changed and the process of submitting your scripts is really simple. They don’t make it too complex.

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

I was influenced to enter the festival because I think that it is so important to hear stories from women from around the world. Everyone has a unique perspective about their experiences in society, especially ones that have been influenced by an individual’s gender. Everyone deserves to tell their story and there are so many talented women out there that deserve to be heard. I was very happy with the initial feedback I received, it was professional and constructive. This festival has helped me out a lot and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Katie’s misbehaviour at her fifteenth birthday party causes her Mother to send her to West Side Academy, a boarding school for young ladies. However, Arnold Hemingworth, the headmaster, enforces strict rules over his pupils. Katie’s reluctance to follow these rules causes her to get into trouble and she becomes isolated from her submissive peers. One of the rules prohibits girls from speaking to their family members. Nonetheless, Arnold makes an exception of allowing one girl at a time to visit her family if she conforms to the rules. Nevertheless, Katie discovers that Arnold’s exception comes with a sacrifice.

CAST LIST:
Claire: Julie Sheppard
Katie: Elizabeth Rose Morriss

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