Interview with Screenwriter Aubree Sweeney (FIX ME)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Fix Me is about communication or the lack thereof. Mason is a star athlete with a secret and his mom, Arianna – will do anything to find out what that secret is. When she does get to the bottom of things, she talks to everyone except, Mason. She, with the help of the town “outs” Mason at a “Congrats on Being A Gay” surprise party.

Throughout the story, we have the opportunity to see this snapshot of what conversion therapy looks like. Early on, we learn that this is the approach Mason is taking to “fix me” – stop being gay.

For me, it’s particularly satisfying to have the moment later on when Mason’s mom, Arianna runs the local conversion therapist out of town by way of throwing office supplies.

We also get to explore the flip side of coming out – my friends and family are supportive, but maybe too supportive. In Mason’s case, earlier that day he was “praying away the gay”.

Now, he’s “out” and his entire town knows it.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dramedy

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

It’s a story that needs to be told. We have a long way to go as a society when it comes down to acceptance.

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

Well-meaning miscommunication (I pulled a fast one with the hyphen)

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

It’s a tie – A League of Their Own and Double Indemnity

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

The idea came to me sitting at an open mic in downtown Los Angeles years ago. I’d spent the afternoon with a friend who shared his conversion therapy experience. It was honestly gutting. The majority of my friends who have come out, have these terrible stories. I honestly don’t know how they survived.

In Fix Me, the boy Mason loves, has a similar back story. His Dad left when he came out.

I’m sitting at this mic, fantasizing, if I’d been around when he came out – I would have been so supportive. I would have thrown him a party.

When I got home, I started plotting. I quickly realized how that extreme over the top positive could be very problematic as well. I kept plugging along. No matter what I did, there was something off. Months passed.

Then, I went fulltime on the road for stand-up comedy and Fix Me was shelved.

Fast forward, a few years on the road – millions of new experiences and conversations. I wake up in the middle of the night. I have it. I can finally give Mason and his family the life they all deserve.

So, short answer – Fix Me has been part of me for years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have no idea! I’ve always been a bit of a storyteller. The first story I recall writing was about a “werecat” – I was seven. It was very spooky.

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

My favorite genre is folk. I’m a huge fan of artists like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Gordon Lightfoot. I’m recently exploring song writing. I love folk and the way these artists weave a tale. It’s mind-blowing.

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

I had to take a hiatus from the story to organically gain the life experience needed to give Mason and his family the future they deserve.

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

I’m owned by a dog and cat – I love them so much. I’m an animal advocate. I work whenever possible with rescues and shelters. I do a lot of benefit shows to help raise awareness and funds for these types of organizations.
I’m also passionate about waste reduction, our wildlife and preserving our beautiful planet.

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

FilmFreeway is an amazing tool. This was my first experience with FilmFreeway and I’m so impressed.

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

I knew I had to submit to this festival. The main page and the info regarding the festival is extremely welcoming. I felt like no matter what happened it would be a positive experience.

The feedback I received was wonderful. The notes were so clear and so constructive. You set the bar very, very high!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

CAST LIST:

Narration: Allison
Arianna: Kyana Teresa
Miss Walker/Sara: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Mason: Allan Michael Brunet
Dr. Ruffalo/Tammy: Hannah Ehman
Tom/Isaac/John: Bill Poulin
Larry/Jack/Homeless Man: Shawn Devlin

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