Scriptwriter of the Month: Todor Velev

Todor Velev, Bulgarian director with a taste for commercial films, spared some time out of his busy schedule to answer our eight favorite questions.

Enjoy our short conversation and to find out more about him, check out his MTSW profile here.

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

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Because Charlie Kaufman’s script is flawless. Ever since I have found him and watched all of his movies – I was, super in love with how even in a simple and mundane everyday task he always finds a freaky, strange, wacky, weird way to twist it and turn it into something Kaufmaniac!

The Fountain (2006)

The movie is perfect! I highly recommend it to be studied in film schools – story, camera work, acting, production, editing, music, sound, etc. It mesmerizes in every key element. I cried a lot.

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

The movie got me seriously thinking of doing drugs for a living. Cried a lot also.

Amadeus (1984)
A colleague of mine recommended seeing it, when I asked for a simple work of mine, how to cut my short by the music. Had no idea who Forman is or what is Amadeus, but after the third hour I was crying (again, Jesus, with the crying!) while googling for music of Mozart. Another perfect movie.

City of God (2002)

That movie is just a chilling reminder for my little, normal and insignificant European life that I’m living… what is happening in the world while I’m drinking my mochaccino on a Tuesday morning. By the way, I’ve talked with a couple of Brazilians during my travels, and they all joke around that the movie for them is a documentary… FUCK!

• Why did you decide to go into film?

‘Cause while I was doing my bachelor’s degree in computer science, I managed to watch more than 3000 movies (don’t ask) and the more I watched the more different little details were bugging me out in these movies. So, I started seeing errors and of course I was young and empty-headed, decided that I could do it better than them. Ha.

• Commercial films or art house?

Everyone is cursing me for it here in Sofia, Bulgaria, but always commercial. And I’m not even sorry, I want to provide for me and my family with my work, not just to become “famous” or “relevant” at the film festivals. Art house is great, but if I actually have the money to produce it myself! Plus, cinema is entertainment for the masses, every single underground or art movie WANTS to be commercial, even if its creator tells you otherwise.

• How and when did you begin writing?

A couple of years ago, since I was trying to find good scripts as a director and it turns out there are barely a few in Bulgaria. So with no available scripts for me to direct, decided to write. At first, I was terrible, but with time and tons of rewrites, I got better.

• Where do you like to write the most?

I thought at home, but ever since I applied for a few writing workshops and got selected, turns out I’m great in the field – house in the middle of nowhere, café in a busy city, a school room. However, I should be surrounded with people to bounce off ideas.

• What kind of music do you listen while writing?

From Eminem to Mozart, from Lady Leshurr to David Boywie, from Prince to The Prodigy, you get the point – I am a music junkie. Whatever gets me in the mood.

• Where do ideas come from?

From our own experiences and imagination, which is what you see, enjoy, experiment, play, ask about, rationalize, think on it, etc. I do not believe in muse or inspiration.

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

Definitely a long time ago in a galaxy not so far away. It is about time to meet alien races, otherwise what is all this space for…