Interview with Screenwriter Ery De Jong (DREAM NO MORE)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Here’s the logline for “Dream No More”: After a meteor impact, a lesbian couple and their daughter move onto a sailboat to escape civilization’s end, only to realize that an alien force is hunting them through their nightmares. It’s a really unique hook. I think a reader (or viewer) knows instantly whether they’re going to be game for something that wild.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror. Science Fiction. Some epic weirdness thrown in. “Dream No More” takes place inside nightmares; we can have some fun! Oh, I don’t know if these are genres, but it’s “diverse”. It has an all-female cast. All BIPOC. Fully-realized LGBTQ family. It features characters with disabilities. It passes *all* the new Bechdel-style tests. I’m very proud of that.

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

First answer: why not? Second answer: because we need more movies with brains, heart, (lots of guts), and diversity on the screen.

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

Mind f***. Or is that one word?

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

Possibly “12 Monkeys”. One of the best films ever made.

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

Going back to the root ideas for “Dream No More”… it’s been decades. I’m proud to see the story evolve the way it has.

7. How many stories have you written?

Altogether, in all forms, more than 1,000. (Insane, I know.)

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

I have a song that I tell people represents the peak of musicianship, of art, of mentalism, and it’s Tool’s “Schism”. The song I’ve listened to the most in my life might be Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome To The Jungle”. Blame radio overplay. That last sentence shows my age.

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

Well, I’m disabled – I suffer from Crohn’s Disease. For those who don’t know about IBD/Crohn’s/Ulcerative Colitis – to simplify it – your digestive system is always inflamed. You can’t eat. You’re in constant pain (think stomachache / food poisoning). And then you have no energy because you’ve stopped eating. Crohn’s Disease took my filmmaking career and most of my adult life. It took me years to learn to adjust. It took me years to learn to walk again, live again, eat (selectively) again. And once you get done rescheduling your entire world around that black hole, only then did I find the ability to write again. All during the quiet minutes. So the obstacle here is my own condition.

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

Politics. Activism. The world needs tangible changes, and soon. I wouldn’t mind being a part of that.

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

It’s a fantastic resource for writers. I’ve had no bad experiences.

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

Pure intuition… I was scrolling through FilmFreeway and, hey, I’ve got an LGBTQ story here… I’ll give it a whirl! And I won! And… winning feels great!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

After a meteor impact, a lesbian couple and their daughter move onto a sailboat to escape civilization’s end, only to realize that an alien force is hunting them through their nightmares.

Aya: Val Cole
Emmy: Julie Sheppard

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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