Interview with Screenwriter Diego Scerrati (Unfortunate People)

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s mainly about human connection. It’s the story of two self-seeking young adults who meet the night they lose their innocence and fall in love, but their relationship will clash with their thirst for self-affirmation. As weird as it may sound, it’s a story about the beauty of being weak, fragile, frustrated losers who don’t have what it takes and try to get by.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It definitely falls under the Romance genre. However, to me, it’s mainly a Coming-Of-Age story that explores the challenges of young adulthood in our contemporary world. We live in a world where our “social” profile is more important than our true self, and we keep building it up and letting it define us because we unconsciously think that this is what makes us successful in this life. My story is right about that age when we start coping with the ongoing pressure and expectations of the outside world, and when we need to decide between the person we are and the person the world wants us to be.

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

There is always more need for unique and diverse voices. Similar shows like You’re the Worst, Normal People or Love speak to all young adults but from the same perspective of a white straight man and a woman. I wanted to tell a universal story that could resonate with everyone but from the unique perspective of two gay characters. We used to think that women stories could only be addressed to a female audience or that stories with black people could only be addressed to the black community. We’ve been proven they can actually have a wider audience, and it’s time we understand that stories with leading gay characters can also resonate not just within their community.

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

Finding meaning.

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

I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, and I re-watched shows like Lost or Sons of Anarchy so many times. But if I had to say a movie that stuck with me, I’d say Into the wild. I think my story itself is a sort of inner journey into the wild because, if we look into ourselves, it is always a bit wild and chaotic in there. And it can be quite dangerous, too.

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

I started to write this story during the first lockdown in the UK. We all were in a moment of isolation, probably looking for some kind of human connection. I think lockdown made clear that when everything around us disappears, it all comes back to our humanity. So I started to write this story about two people so desperate to find meaning in the outside world that they don’t see their connection is what they actually need.

7. How many stories have you written?

This is my sixth completed script, but I have way more projects in progress. Some of them are still in the form of messy outlines, but I can’t wait to bring them alive.

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

I listen to different music, but I don’t have a favourite song like I don’t have a favourite movie. I generally listen to classic rock, but it really depends on the mood of the day.

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

I really struggled with the structure of this pilot episode in the first place. I wanted to make it all about the encounter between these two people, but despite the Before Sunrise vibes, not much was happening in terms of action, so I had to work a long way to manage to set up the story engine for the pilot and the entire show. On a second level, I had to look into myself, too, as this story is quite personal to me. And that is never easy.

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

I love sports. Any kind of sport. Every game, every match, is like watching a movie. Some can be boring, exciting, or authentic thrilling masterpieces, but it’s always worth watching anyway. You have villains, conflicts, obstacles, turning points, goals, anything you need, and it’s a great source of inspiration for a writer.

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

Very good, I have to say. It’s a helpful tool that can help you find festivals and competitions for new screenwriters. We all know the biggest contests out there, but the risk is your script, no matter how good it is, gets lost amongst thousands of other projects applying to those bigger competitions. Sometimes, It’s better to target your audience and jury by selecting some more specific platforms that can actually make your script and genre stand out.

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

I entered last year, too, with the same story, but it was a feature at that stage. The feedback was great, and the reader made the point that there were so many good characters and storylines that he suggested thinking about expanding it and making a show out of it. And here I am, a year later, with a winning script.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Two seemingly different men meet by chance one rainy night. Will their connection last longer than a night, or will their differences take them apart?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Oliver: Steve Rizzo
Lukas: Allan Michael Brunet

By matthewtoffolo

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

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