Interview with Screenwriter Whisper-Lynn Harper (A Poem to my Love)

Kamile is a girl fed up with high school stereotypes, determined to make herself different, however she finds herself falling into them when she falls in love with her best friend.

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

A Poem To My Love is about the experience of first love, first heartbreak and self-love. It is often talked about in queer circles that their first crush is often their best friend and doesn’t end up playing out the way it does on tv and movie screens. As well, many LBTQA+ teens have a lot going on that; they are uncomfortable with how they look, how they dress and who they are. So A Poem To My Love is a screenplay about being comfortable with who you are and loving yourself despite everything else.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would say for sure it falls under a teen coming of age. At the centre of it is a teen dealing with all of the typical teen things while on an essential journey of self-love and discovery around her.

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

It’s 2022, and while we have made many advances in media representation, there is still room to expand. For example, I personally would love to see a plus-sized protagonist in a Queer film and see a plus-size protagonist that size isn’t used as a punch line.

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

Beautiful and Important

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

It’s probably a tie between Lilo and Stich and the first High School Musical. Lilo and Stitch is one of my favourite movies, and I even have a tattoo of it. But I spent a lot of time with my older cousin Molly who got me to love High School Music, and I think together we watched that dozens of times. If you want a cooler answer, it’s Inception, one of my other favourite movies.

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

This one has taken me on a journey. If we want to get technical, I first wrote the poem I named “A Letter To My Love” in 2018. I kept returning to it like I wasn’t finished with it yet but didn’t know how to “finish” the poem. Fast forward to 2021, my last year of the Film Program at Sault College and my screenwriting teacher tasked us with writing in a genre we hadn’t written for her. I racked my brain with what to write until I found this poem again and finally discovered why I wasn’t finished with it yet. So 2018-2021, I will keep returning to it to fix anything I want to improve.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written many and continue to write many. I think my current WIP folder has at least 10 in it. Those 10 are the ones I’m actively working on, not counting the ones shelved until I’m ready to work on them again.

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

My all-time favourite song is Up Town Girl by Billy Joel, but what Apple music says is my most listened-to song for 4 years straight you would think it would be Sharpest Lives by My Chemical Romance.

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

Honestly, I think it was a lot of letting it go and being viewed by people. In the poem that I used in my script, I wrote about feelings I had about myself and my own experience with being someone who is a plus-sized queer person. Of course, when I did change it into a script, some things were altered, but it is still a very personal story to me, and while it felt really good writing it, I was scared of judgment from it. I ended up getting over that and sharing a glimpse into my experience and the creativity that it sparked.

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

I am a big film and tv person. Its really bad, I am one of those people who talk during movies and tv shows. I also love photography I have been doing it since I was in the 11 grade, and I also have a passion for post-production, which I do as my day job.

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

FilmFreeway has honestly been amazing to submit on. I have tried other sites but feel I get the most out of FilmFreeway. I am able to find different festivals and competitions I can’t find anywhere else. Being able to submit films and written works is a massive plus for me. I can house all my creative works in one place, which is lovely.

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

I wanted to give A Poem To My Love one last go before I work on it more, and I stumbled across this festival, and it was exactly what I was looking for. So I figured, hey, even if I don’t get in, this an excellent opportunity to get my script out there. I was overjoyed to get the feedback I did because that’s things I know I can work on and improve. So I took the feedback and made notes on a physical version of the script. This whole experience has been precisely what I have been looking for, and it helped me a lot. I would 100% consider entering this again.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Kamile: Hannah Ehman
Cassie: Kyana Teresa

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By matthewtoffolo

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

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