INTERVIEW WITH SCREENWRITER GEORGIA PANTELOUCOS

  • What is the first story you ever wrote?

The first script I ever wrote was In my Photo ! Which is crazy as I never expected my first script to receive any sort of recognition.

  • Growing up, what movies or stories inspired your creative passion?

My passion for film truly began within the last four years. From the middle of high school and now going into my second year of university, there is a collection of recent films that have informed my inspiration. Some of these include Hereditary , Midsommar , Get out , Us , Gone Girl , Parasite , Swallow , Joker , The Florida Project , Call Me By Your Name , Still Alice , Room , Waves , A Star is Born and La La Land . Recent notable TV Series that have left an impressionable mark: Euphoria , The Haunting of Hill House , When They See Us , The Handmaid’s Tale , Sharp Objects , and Big Little Lies .

  • For an unknown writer, what is the best way to get their screenplay seen?

Some resources that I have become familiar with since writing my In My Photo are FilmFreeway and Coverfly. The greatest tip I’ve learned through submitting to various festivals is finding one that best fits your script genre. Do some background research on the festivals and see where your script is most likely to thrive. I also recommend looking up current free screenwriting competitions. Even if your script does not get selected or win, your script is still getting read which is the most important thing.

  • What experiences from your life influence your characters?

Every single experience I’ve had influences my characters in one way or another, even if it is subconscious. Drawing from your own life is what makes your writing original. The best way to create characters that resonate with audiences is realistic dialogue and unique mannerisms that make your characters distinct. When audiences come across something in their own life that prompts them to think about a fictional character, they are reminded of them as if they exist. I think that’s what makes a strong
character.

  • Can you explain your character development process?

I don’t have a process when it comes to the development of a character. My scripts start with an idea and as the idea develops, so do the characters within the story. When I begin to see where the story is going I create characters that align with how I want the story to unfold.

  • Do you write bios before you start writing?

Before I start writing I have a solid concept, sometimes a full outline, half an outline, or no outline. I find that the best ideas come when I am not stuck in this mindset of needing to create characters or a story that conforms to a predetermined outline. Most of the time, when I write I don’t know who my
characters are or where my story is going. I just start and see what situations my characters find themselves in and after I understand the circumstances, I delve deeper into thinking about the personality traits that fit best with the situation. Most of the time, I find that I pick personality and
character attributes that juxtapose what’s happening to the characters. I think that makes for the most interesting story.

  • How emotionally involved are you with the characters you create?

It ranges depending on the story and character. I think it’s always beneficial to include parts of your own experiences into your story despite how different or opposite the characters are from your own life. The best stories come from real people, so including details that make your character more human and relatable, even if they are evil or controversial, gives the reader or viewer something to sympathize with.

  • What are your thoughts on structure?

When I am writing I am not thinking about structure at all and I never follow any sort of specific format. I just write what I think is interesting for the moment.

  • Do you outline before you start writing?

Sometimes I have an outline before writing a script, however, most times I do not and I have no idea where the story is going. I only have an outline if I have a very specific idea for a script and I already know exactly how I want it to unfold. Most times, I like seeing where the story takes itself. I just write up until the point where my initial ideas for the script ends. Then I’ll leave the script alone for several days or weeks and think about the characters as if they’re real. What would they be doing now? Who would they be interacting with? How would they be feeling? I try to get to know the characters on my own, then write for them when I feel like I have a better idea of who they are.

  • What is the most important aspect of building a great character?

I draw from real-life conversations, feelings, and behavioral reactions that I have experienced personally or have observed. If I have witnessed or experienced these feelings, that means other people must have
felt similar things. I think this is important to make characters relatable, understand them, and make them connect with people. A very unique and surreal feeling is when you watch a character on-screen act in a way you have or have seen people you know act. I believe this is what makes a film memorable.