Interview with Screenwriter Bita Shahi (FACELESS)

1. What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay is about an outcast who is perhaps too invested in his passion. It’s about the very fine line between fascination and obsession and what can go wrong when we hold people to unrealistic standards. This is especially true of those in the limelight – we either idolize them or condemn them and in either option, it’s dehumanizing.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It would fall under the following: thriller, horror, animation, and drama.

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

Because it’s a story people can relate to. It’s like observing what would happen if we took the worst of our traits or insecurities and just ran with them. This is a script for people who slow down past car crashes.

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

Face masks.

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

The Lion King (animated)!

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

I wrote the screenplay in a feverish two days (I did NOT get a lot of sleep that week haha) but the idea rattled around in my head for several months prior to that.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written two features, one spec script, and six pilots.

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

My music taste is very kaleidoscopic, so I don’t really have one favorite song as it changes rapidly. However, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by the Beatles has a soft spot in my heart.

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

I struggled with trying to convey what I was imagining in my head onto the paper. Especially since a lot of the horror is implied or happens offscreen, I didn’t want to be too detailed that the script lost that sense of eeriness, but I also didn’t want to be so vague it was unclear.

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

Reading, baking, and finding new sweets/bakeries to try out. 🙂

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

A good one so far. I don’t win every festival I submit to, but I do get a lot of good critique and feedback which is important.

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

I love horror and thriller films. It’s a dream of mine to eventually write one that ends up on the big screen. When I saw that this festival not only gave feedback, but the opportunity to hear what a scene would sound like out loud, I jumped at the chance to join. I was happy with the feedback. Obviously, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but the feedback was very much appreciated. It was clear in what worked and what needed improvement.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Minsoo Ho, a loner and a loser, has decided to end his life after his idol and inspiration, Ares, goes on mandatory military service. When his suicide attempt results in the accidental death of another, Minsoo must learn to put his best face forward.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Hannah Ehman
Ares: Steve Rizzo
Minsoo: Shawn Devlin
Sunhee: Kyana Teresa

By matthewtoffolo

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

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