Interview with Screenwriter Lauren Lola (AN ABSOLUTE MIND)

1. What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay, “An Absolute Mind,” is based off of my novel of the same name. It’s about a college student named Sonya Ogino who finds out she has Absolute Memory; the ability to see the memories of significant objects. There are underground gangs who hunt down people like her, and after she is outed, she is transported to a secret island for her safety. However, when she discovers who’s running the island, Sonya and her new friends take it upon themselves to take action against inaction.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s a science fiction drama.

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

I think this screenplay should be made into a movie because it tells a story that needs to be shown now more than ever before. At the time the novel came out, it was a week after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Since then, a number of the themes and occurrences have become more and more relevant overtime. Visually, it represents a future that we can and should aspire to. Thematically, it’s about recognizing wrongdoing and taking action into your own hands when no one else will – a message that, I believe, needs to be taken seriously into account in these unprecedented times.

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

Optimistically forward.

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

I can’t say for sure, but I have a feeling it’s probably “Spirited Away.” I grew up watching Hayao Miyazaki’s films. He’s an incredible director and brilliant storyteller. “Spirited Away” is next level in the world-building, the character development, the stakes, and everything in between. It won an Academy Award for a reason! It’s definitely one of my favorites from him, and funny enough, it actually influenced the writing of both the novel and the screenplay of “An Absolute Mind.”

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

I’ve been working on this screenplay for a little over two years now, but the idea for it dates back to 2012. It’s been with me for quite some time.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have no idea. Moving on…

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

I don’t have a straight answer for this one either, but if I had to make a guess, I think it’s probably “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins and/or “Kiss” by Prince.

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

I was unemployed at the time, so finding a job definitely took some time away that could have been spent working on the script. I also was doing an internship and doing other writing projects outside of the screenplay, so it was quite a juggling act I was doing.

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

I love reading. I think it’s a natural answer for anyone who writes, but it’s truly a favorite pastime of mine. I also like interviewing professional creatives and learning their stories.

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

It’s so funny you ask that because I have the experience of being on both sides of the platform. My day job puts on a film festival every year and we use FilmFreeway to receive submissions. Every year, I take part in the screening committee for the short films sent our way, and so I’ve developed an eye for what to look for.

When it comes to the other way around where I’m the one submitting content through FilmFreeway, it’s an unnerving experience of waiting around for when you’re going to hear back, as well as constantly wondering of whether your script will be selected or not. For the most part, I’ve mainly experienced the latter.

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

Anytime where I come across a festival or competition that’s specifically asking for scripts within that sci-f-/fantasy genre, I’m drawn towards them. It makes for a great opportunity to see how my script measures up compared to others.

As for a feelings regarding the initial feedback, I think it was informative, but not necessarily what I felt was needed for the script.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Narrator: Geoff Mays
Sonya: Hannah Ehman
Gian: Allan Michael Brunet


By matthewtoffolo

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

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