The Script Contest: interview with 2nd edition’s winner, Alexandra Suciu
Alexandra Suciu. A name that for most of you doesn’t ring any bell. A young female who dreams of becoming a director, Alexandra is a very dear person to me and one of the few women I know will succeed in this industry. When we first met, I found her a bit odd, not sure if it was me or her. Even though she was quite shy and quiet, you could see the excitement on her face. Until I told her she might not direct, a thing she already knew. For about three to four months (hope I’m not mistaken, as I am terrible with time – and time is terrible with me) Alexandra did everything she could only to convince me she’s ready to direct and she’s definitely the right gal to do it. Drawings, photographs, films, storyboard and colour pallets – you name it, she sent it.
If there is one reason you should read this article for, it is because one day, Alex will blow away some big European film festivals and you’ll be one of the fewest to know how she has started. And if you’re thinking of applying this year, well.. then you have even more reasons to read it.
Alexandra, I know that you submitted your script on the first edition, too, and you are the living proof that persistency will help you succeed. How did you find out about The Script Contest and why did you decide to apply for the second time?
The first time I found out about it was on social media – it seemed a good opportunity to start writing again. The script I submitted at the first edition didn’t have a coherent dialogue, and that’s probably why I didn’t succeed. The second time, I applied with a script I had already written – I started writing it following an exercise I found in Robert Mckee’s The Story.
Why do you think your script won this time?
I think there were several reasons. The characters were better defined, the interaction between them too, and the story that develops gradually is an unusual one for the Romanian society. Maybe also the fact that the script is do-able as an independent film with no funds.
TSC reserves the right to select the director of the film every year.
As this is your first film, were you aware of the possibility you might not be chosen as director?
I assumed this could be the case from the beginning – but, as you know, I have worked hard to prove that I am ready to direct this story.
What do you do in your everyday life and what do you really want to do?
I am currently working in the film industry – as an assistant director – right now I’m working on a feature film – Dragonheart V. I’d like to get to the point where I can write and direct – but before that I want to gain experience and information and as much knowledge possible about the process of making a film.
Our film industry is small and yet has a few female directors. Do you find it harder for a woman to establish itself as a creative leader?
It seems to me that in our society women who have had something to say and have managed to uphold their creative ideas, have been accepted and allowed to grow. I do not think it is necessarily a matter of gender but rather of courage, commitment, and persistence.
Tell me a film directed by a woman you like.
RAW – Julie Decournau ,one of my recent findings.
And tell me about your film, too. We were about to shoot it in September, but we postponed it for next summer, a tough decision for everybody, especially for you.
It was a tough decision, but I think it was a good one and as time is passing by, I become more certain of it.
Our film tells the story of three people in their 60’s, who are living a love story – or at least trying to. We have two ladies – with totally different personalities, and a gentleman that holds the balance of this love triangle. Three complex , but juicy characters, which are the beauty of this story. I want to show that even when you get old, you can live moments similar to the first thrills of love – when the joy of discovering the other starts to appear.
Why two women and a man and not two men and a woman?
Because the exercise on which I started, implied imagining a possible situation in my life but set in the future. And that’s what I did. During the research, I came across a series of photographs of an artist called Isadora Kosofsky, that played an important part in the development of the story. Of course, I have made many changes along the way – but that was the start.
What did you like about TSC and how do you think it can improve?
I like that it gives people who are passionate about writing the chance to express themselves and watch their story unfold. There’s always room for better and I think that’s something that comes with experience. Therefore TSC must keep going strong, grow and reach many editions with nurturing stories for imagination.
Describe your experience, in a few phrases, as you see it and feel it up to this moment. I’ll ask you the question again after the shootings.
It is a process that goes on and on, and elements of surprise may appear on the way which needs to be handled with full consideration. The fact that we have not been able to finish The Polar Bears’ Journey Through the Desert this year is an opportunity for us to gain more experience and focus more on what is really important: the quality of the film.
The third edition of The Script Contest has opened. More about its regulations and how to apply on their official website.