Scriptwriter of the Month: Andreea Dobre

 

This month we did a short conversation with Romanian writer/director Andreea Dobre. To find out more about her thoughts on filmmaking, how she started writing, her attitude towards writing and many other things, read our short conversation.

 

And if you would like to find out more about the projects she is working on, check out her MTSW profile here.

 

• What makes the 5 films on your Top 5 list so special?

 

Each creates its own private world and draws you in, and while you’re there, it changes a little something in you. They are all personal, subjective and give the finger to trends, genres and expectations. And they stuck with me long after watching them. That’s the ultimate test with everything I watch, read, listen to: how long do I think about it after it’s finished?

 

 

• Why did you decide to go into film?

 

Cinema took over my life as a teenager when I would watch 2-3 films a day almost every day but getting to exactly what I am doing now took more than a decade of indecisiveness, outer circumstances and a-ha moments. It all makes perfect sense to me now as I look back but sounds like garbage when trying to explain it. The best “why” is that I live in my head building worlds and characters and want to bring them to life. It’s called maladaptive daydreaming, but because I’m a filmmaker it’s legit work.

 

• Commercial films or art house?

 

You can find both masterpieces and complete shit under both labels. You make a film to communicate something, to have it seen, so it’s your responsibility to seduce and hypnotise the viewer. But then people are so very different, what is exciting to one is boring to another and vice-versa, the more imaginary people you try to please or the more labels you try to fit in, the more general and boring it gets. So, all you can do is do your own thing the best way you can, learning from everywhere you find useful. Then time will tell if it’s worth anything. Not the box office, not the awards, but time.

 

• How and when did you begin writing?

 

I actually worked as a journalist for a few years after high school and one thing I learned is that I hate writing. So, for a long time, I avoided it like the plague and tried to find a like-minded scriptwriter to work with, all while hoarding a long list of ideas, notes, references and resources for “one day, when I find THE writer…” I wasted a lot of time like that, then decided to get my hands dirty and instead look for a scriptwriting process that works for me.

 

• Where do you like to write the most?

 

I figure out a lot of stuff while walking aimlessly in the city. Then when things are clear I always write in my favourite armchair at home, with generous amounts of aromatic green tea, rolling tobacco and chocolate within arm’s reach.

 

• What kind of music do you listen while writing?

 

I love to plan or dream the rhythm and mood of the film as early as the writing phase, and music does wonders for that. What I listen to really depends on the project, and when I find the right music, I play it on repeat for hours, almost like casting a spell.

Here is a recent one:

 

• Where do ideas come from?

 

From images that come to me in that state between awakeness and sleep. From a “what if” that pops up when thinking about real events or people. From a location or song with a certain mood. From watching an actor/actress on stage. I notice a tiny gesture or expression that triggers an entire character in my mind completely unrelated to what they’re playing and next thing you know the character has a story. I need to look in all these places to have a complete script.

 

• If you could go anywhere in space and time, where would that be?

 

I would love to take a road trip through the entire history of my hometown Bucharest, to observe daily life in specific places and buildings at different points in time.