Interview with Screenwriter Cyn Harris (BIG GIRL)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Set 1976, Wisconsin, “Big Girl” is a coming-of-age tragicomedy that shows the dark realities of the struggle to be one’s true self when society is doing everything in its power to tell you who you are supposed to be. Tori, 14, is too big to be the cheerleader her mother insists she be. When a new field hockey coach shows up, Tori and her friends find inspiration, forbidden love and self-expression but at a steep price.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama and Young Adult.

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

It’s a timeless story of courage, coming of age and self discovery. It is important for people, especially young people, to discover and own who they are without apology. I also think it gives perspective as to the courage it took to live as a gay person in the 1970s..

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

Tragic Comedy.
(This is a really hard question, by the way….)

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

Probably The Godfather. It is one of the movies I can’t turn off if I come upon it while channel surfing. Other movies that fall into that category are: Jaws, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, Godfather II

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

I actually wrote about 15 drafts of it in the 1990s then put it away. I started on it again about 1 1/2 years ago. I pulled all apart and started from scratch. This new version hardly resembles the old one.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written (not including Page 1 rewrites) about 6 screenplays and plays.

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

September by Earth Wind & Fire.

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

Figuring out the ending. Also, keeping it under 120 pages.

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

Cooking and raising my children. I also love love love to travel.

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

It was very good.

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

I entered because I thought the material would be of interest to you and I valued an LGBT perspective on my work.
The feedback was INCREDIBLE. It was so thoughtful and deep. The reader has chops! This was hands down the best analysis I have ever received. The notes have shaped my current draft enormously and I couldn’t be more grateful. I actually did 3 more drafts since receiving the notes. Each draft incorporated more and more of the notes and I believe it has taken the story to a new level. Seriously, I hope to meet the reader one day to thank him/her/them from the bottom of my heart. I also felt really good, as an artist, to be “gotten”. This reader got my script and that was thrilling.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

In 1976 suburban Wisconsin, Tori, 14, is too big and awkward to be the cheerleader her mother demands. When field hockey coach Deb appears at Tori’s Catholic school, her swagger, strength and acceptance sets fire to Tori’s repressed desires. Chaos swiftly ensues. Yet through Tori’s new found love, she discovers her power and to be her true self.

Narrator: Val Cole
Millie/Tori: Hannah Ehman
Kent: Allan Michael Brunet

By matthewtoffolo

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

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