09 May Scriptwriter of the Month: Miha Mazzini
Miha Mazzini, Slovenian author, screenwriter and film director who’s film ERASED premiered in 2018 and won the Best Screenplay award at this year’s FEST International Film Festival in Belgrade and several Vesna Awards given at Festival of Slovenian Film to the best accomplishments in Slovenian film in previous year, is the scriptwriter whom we’ll introduce to you this month.
If you would like to find out a bit more about what he’s working on, check out his MTSW profile.
And enjoy our short conversation with him.
- What makes the 5 films on your Top 5 list so special?
Rationally, it’s the balance between emotion and reason. Irrationally, they hit some spot in my subconscious. For instance, while watching Alien I was transported back into my childhood and realized I will have to write about it (and I did, years and a lot of courage later: Childhood, a novel, Slovenian edition 2015, Serbian 2019).
- Why did you decide to go into film?
I watched the films obsessively since I was 6 years old, so this kind of storytelling comes naturally to me. I always wanted to write a script, but I wrote a novel first. It was bought by Slovenian television and turned into a script, but a few days before the shooting the director came and said that he didn’t like the script. What if I try writing my own version? I wrote it over the weekend and the film won CIRCOM award for the best European TV film of the year. I felt like an intruder and fake, so I decided to do my Masters in scriptwriting.
- Commercial films or art house?
Ah, *the* question. “Art film” for me is just a genre, like western or thrillers, etc. I would define it like this: “unnecessary suffering of the characters, shown in beautiful pictures”. Hollywood blockbusters are for kids (no matter the age). I firmly believe that there must be audiences for the films who are not the first or the second type, but they’re mostly gone from the cinemas – they moved to the streaming platforms which, in a way, is a pity.
- How and when did you begin writing?
Student family, small daughter, etc. I worked as a night watchman and was so bored that I decided to write a script. I didn’t know how to do it, and I found the idea so great, I didn’t want to waste it. So, I wrote the prequel for it as a novel. It was published (title Crumbs, American title Cartier Project), sold 56.000 copies in Slovenia (and that’s a very small nation!), TV bought the rights, etc (see the previous answer).
- Where do you like to write the most?
I used to need a lot of preparation, my own room, and total quiet. Mastering the craft means higher focus too – now I can write even on the airplane. I never thought I would be able to do that, but really. OK, maybe it was an exception.
- What kind of music do you listen while writing?
None. I love music, so I hate when it’s degraded in the background noise. I used to compile a soundtrack for the project I was writing and played it before every writing session to get into the mood. Now, I don’t need this anymore.
- Where do ideas come from?
Ideas and inspiration are for beginners. Mastering your craft means the brain has accepted being a writer’s brain and it behaves accordingly, delivering stuff to write. Sometimes painfully, but mostly on the couch. And sometimes even in awkward situations. Once I was karate sparring and suddenly – and idea! I stopped, let my hands fall and got hit, not by the idea only.
- If you could go anywhere in space and time, where would that be?
Three days before humanity ends. I would buy the history of the world and read it in the remaining days.