Interview with Screenwriter Andrea Lawson (The Road to Sorrowful)

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

In the afterlife, a murdered man meets a grieving mother who died during the Great Depression and has been ferrying souls through purgatory ever since for the chance to rescue her daughter’s soul from damnation.


Narrator: Steve Rizzo
Deacon: Geoff Mays
Sadie: Hannah Ehman

Get to know the screenwriter:

1. What is your screenplay about?

My 1-hour pilot, The Road to Sorrowful, occurs in the afterlife, where a murdered man meets a grieving mother who died during the Great Depression and has been ferrying souls through purgatory ever since for the chance to rescue her daughter’s soul from damnation.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s a dark fantasy thriller with a horror vibe.

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

I think my 1-hour pilot script would make a fantastic television show. Sure, it’s about death, but it’s also about choices, addiction, co-dependency, guilt, loss, forgiveness, and personal responsibility, all wrapped up in a fun, dark, dangerous world where the characters really are down to their very last chance.

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

Last chances.

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

Harold and Maude

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

Almost 5 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

Nine pilots, and a couple of features.

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

Cassandra Wilson’s version of Tupelo Honey, on her album Blue Light ‘Til Dawn, is outstanding, she has the most amazing voice. All her albums are incredible.

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

I work below the line on set, for TV shows, and we tend to have very long days. So finding the time and energy to write can be a little harder than when I had an office job.

The other thing with this project is that it’s the first time I’ve done something this atmospheric, not to mention trying to indicate a character’s distinctive accent and cadences in the dialog while keeping it easy to read. It’s a delicate balance, evoking the look and feel of the world without slowing down the action.

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

I love to travel, but lately that hasn’t been possible. So in the meantime I love reading and learning about the world, past and present. There are estimated to be over 6,000 languages on this planet, and almost as many different cultures. We get so bombarded by western civilization’s POV that it’s important to remember that just because it’s the loudest doesn’t make it the only, or the best.

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

It makes entering incredibly easy, to be able to look up so many contests in one place, as well as come back to check for placements and results. It’s also really helpful to read other writers’ feedback on their experiences with the contests before I enter.

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

I had just finished the project, and was looking for a way to get feedback on it. The contest entry deadline came along at exactly the right time, and I was doubly excited to see a festival looking for projects by, and about, women.

When I received the feedback, I was of course delighted to get a score of 9 out of 10 from the reader. But even better, the suggestions for changes were so spot on I immediately ran to the script for a rewrite session. Love it when that happens!


By matthewtoffolo

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

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