Interview with Screenwriter Haley Rice (THE LAST GABLETON)

1. What is your screenplay about?

The Last Gableton takes place at the turn of the twentieth century and is the story of Hildegard Ashdown, an upperclass social pariah who finds herself pursued by Elijah Gableton, the son of a wealthy family. As things progress between them, it becomes clear that Elijah has a very dark secret and that his family will do whatever it takes to keep it.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I consider The Last Gableton a Period drama.

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

Although set in the 1890s, The Last Gableton explores the idea of living a life free of pressures imposed by society and family— something to which everyone with a social media account can relate. The theme of secrecy in this piece and what we do to hide our truth we think others will reject us is especially cathartic when played out by characters in another place and time— a great example is The Queens Gambit which is trending on Netflix right now— I think that kind of escapism is what people are looking to get lost in.

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

Surprisingly unexpected.

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

It’s a tie between Ever After or Wes Craven’s Scream trilogy.

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

This is a first draft I started in April 2020 when I was quarantined in my parents barn for two weeks. I finished it in a couple months, entered it into a few festivals for feedback and now am letting it marinate before starting the second draft.

7. How many stories have you written?

Stories? Countless. Plays and screenplays? Only a couple that are in shape enough to let others read. I’m lucky to be a part of several writer’s groups that keep me writing and encouraged.

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

“The Story” by Brandi Carlile

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

Really, not many— just self. Because of the pandemic, I was able to spend several hours a day with the piece; also, I meet weekly with the MCS writers group called The Writer’s Block, who gave helpful feedback and the motivation to finish my first feature script. During the pandemic, they’ve become some of my closest friends and have kept me sane and creating, and I’m so grateful for them.

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

I am a musician by training, so I love creating music— I recently underscored my dear friend Alex Sims’ play This is For Us and had a blast; I also love to create and edit film with my fellow producers at Messy Stars Productions, and I occasionally love to get into intense political debates with my lame conservative family members on Facebook.

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

It has been life-changing. It was so easy to upload the materials, and with a click of button I had access to industry people all over the world. This first draft has placed in several festivals that I never would’ve known about without this platform. I’m hooked.

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

This is a hard one because I struggled with entering this festival because I am not a member of the LGBTQ community, but my script tells the stories of several LGBTQ characters in a time period in which those stories aren’t often told. I thought it was important to see these stories fleshed out, so I entered. I am so glad I did— the feedback from this festival is some of the most helpful, thoughtful, and thorough feedback I’ve ever received. The person who took the time to read and digest and analyze my piece made sure to highlight my strengths as writer while not shying away from things that didn’t work or weren’t serving the piece. I am left humbled and bettered for entering this festival.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

The Last Gableton, a dramatic feature set at the turn of the twentieth century, is the story of a young social pariah, Hildegard Ashdown, who finds herself pursued by the son of a wealthy family. As things progress between them, she begins to sense he has a dark secret, and his family will do what needs to be done to keep it.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Shawn Devlin
Madeline: Julie Sheppard
Hildegard: Kyana Teresa

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