Interview with Screenwriter Haley Dercher (GOOD GIRL)

GOOD GIRL, 12min,. USA, Comedy/Romance
Directed by Jenny Kleiman
After ending a six year relationship, a well-behaved, Jewish, OBGYN decides to turn her brain off and her body on by exploring BDSM; instances of which are popping up in the most unusual places.

Interview with Screenwriter Haley Dercher:

  1. What motivated you to make this film?

I knew I needed a calling card; a film that would be representative of my writing and my voice. This film is a delightfully twisted sex comedy with a lot of heart and soul, and small enough in scale that I knew it could be self-produced. And I was lucky enough to work with people who really loved the idea and the story, and were able to give their time and talents to this project out of the goodness of their hearts.

  1. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

It took around two years. The script was originally the pilot of a series I had in mind. Once that script started doing well in competitions, I wanted a short I could use as a proof of concept for the series, but that could also stand alone as its own story. I was able to trim down the pilot to this short film. Post-production took a long time, but it was all worth the time in the end.

  1. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Neurotic kink.

  1. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

COVID! Since we were a SAG production due to the adult themes in the film, we had to follow extremely rigid (and expensive) Covid protocols. It took 1/3 of our budget and 80% of our frustration, but we kept everyone safe and healthy.

  1. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

My heart soared! It’s so lovely that people from all different backgrounds could find the message of my film resonant. You never know once you’re so close to a project if other people will understand your quirky point of view. And not only did they understand it, they truly took away what I was hoping people would take away with them. It’s so encouraging to see.

  1. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

From a very very young age I started watching movies with an interest that veered more towards academic than entertainment. I of course was entertained, but I was truly studying the movies I loved, particularly internalizing the flow of storytelling and script architecture.

  1. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Probably Dirty Dancing. And I didn’t realize it till we were finished with the film, but that movie really does have an imprint on Good Girl in a lot of ways.

  1. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Anything in-person is helpful, because this industry is so much about relationships and vibe checks. It’d be great to be able to meet and interact with people who can really move the needle on your career.

  1. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway has been super easy to use and I love that it puts all the info in one place. One less thing to keep track of is a big deal!

  1. What is your favorite meal?

I’ve been fortunate enough to eat at some of the best restaurants in the world, but I’m a true New Yorker. A Coke and a slice can’t be beat.

  1. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m always writing, though my mind thinks more episodically than not. I have two pilots I’m in rewrites on, as well as the pilot that Good Girl is based on that will need to be tweaked again. I hope what’s next is representation so I can be staffed on a show (once the upcoming strike is over. Oy.), or I can pitch these projects to studios that can take them to the next level.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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