Interview with Screenwriter Kari Karsten (HELLE’S BELLE)

1. What is your screenplay about?

My script is based on the true story of a female serial killer at the turn of the twentieth century. She was a Norwegian immigrant who managed to kill both of her husbands, all five of her children, and countless male “suitors” without getting caught.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

My script mostly falls under two categories: Drama and Thriller/Horror. Also, because her story is slowly unfolded by the local town police force it can also be considered a murder mystery.

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

The screenplay is a great story and has potential for talented actors and directors to portray these characters as realistic as possible. Also, as a period piece the movie would provide many opportunities to represent a different time and place that people today have never seen before. Obviously this is done with creative costume and production design.

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

Engaging and Disturbing

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

Probably “Forrest Gump” which is typical I know, but it’s hard to top such a well told hero’s quest.’

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

3-4 years

7. How many stories have you written?

With my screenplay/treatment writing classes in college, about 7 or 8.

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

Because I had a private elementary education there are a lot of church songs I’ve heard multiple times, but excluding those probably “Careless Whisper.”

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

It’s hard to write and perfect a full length feature script while maintaining a full time job and social life. Plus I live alone so supporting myself financially while spending money to enter competitions was really difficult at times, but necessary.

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

For obvious reasons I’m very passionate about movies. Besides that, I like to travel whenever possible and/or seek out new experiences in general. Because I do not have children it makes those opportunities a lot easier to come by.

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

I love it. I think it’s a genius way to enter multiple competitions and keep track of your progress for each all on one website, and there’s so many options. I’m really happy I discovered it.

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

I’m a female writer and my leading character is female.
Truly it’s possibly the best feedback I’ve received in years, maybe ever. And especially impressive considering how cheap it was. I can say without a doubt that the person who wrote it took a lot of time to evaluate my script and recommend the best options and ideas she could to make it better. Ultimately, some of the most important changes were made because of her honesty and words of encouragement. She hit the nail on the head and told me what I needed to hear. And even though I wasn’t selected for the festival I am so very very happy I entered my script for review. Thanks again.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

In the early 20th century a young woman discovers a way to prosper from her husband’s death, leading her down a lifelong path of murderous treachery that threatens to be discovered by a local police detective investigating a sinister series of mysterious events.

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Peter: Shawn Devlin
Belle: Hannah Ehman
Jennie: Allison Kampf


By matthewtoffolo

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

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: