29 Jul Scriptwriter of the Month: Manolis Kritsotakis
Manolis Kritsotakis is a Greek writer, director and location manager residing in Heraklion. Currently, he is mostly concentrated on developing a family drama with a woman defending her only son’s life and a short story based on a novel about a fictional method of time transplant.
To find out more about Manolis, check out his MTSW profile here, enjoy our short talk with him and beautiful photo of beach of Balos in Crete in wintertime.
• What makes the 5 films on your Top 5 list so special?
I guess they would be films that bring out strong emotions, stronger than in any other, no matter how praised they have been. To get me so emotional, a film has to be most of all convincing, and flawless in storytelling pace. I love stories which I could see happening in real life, told in quotes a person of wit could have said, e.g.The Godfather. I also fall for for plot twists that I never saw coming when I should have, had I not been so absorbed by the director’s narration like Fight Club. Finally, though watching with a rather academic point of view, searching for perfection in filmmaking, I would always let myself go in stories given so convincingly that even words are made redundant just like every time I do with City Lights.
• Why did you decide to go into film?
Just like any filmmaker I have first been a film watcher. As I went deeper and deeper into cinema theory, watching all the classics and the classics maker’s less known works, I would find that this form of narration suits me better than any other. It’s like choosing to learn the foreign language you love hearing the most. It wouldn’t be long before I got interested in breaking the illusion displayed on screen. How could these magicians do all those tricks? How was it made possible for them to gain control of our minds for two hours? The more I learned, the more I wanted to become a part of it, until it was made clear that there will never be any other part of the world feeling more like home, and so I quit my previous work as an engineer.
• Commercial film or art house?
My choice has always been quality films. I am not into labels, I like watching hard work and love for what you do on screen. A director who tried the best film he could, has gained my respect on the opening shot. Still, if I had to choose between those two categories, I would go for art house ones because commercial films have become too predictable lately. At least in art house films I get to see an auter’s point of view more often.
• How and when did you begin writing?
It was in 2010. I had recently started working in the field of production while I was devouring all the films I could take. I wrote a vigilante’s story taking place in Crete, strongly influenced by Sergio Leone’s westerns. I did not have a clue back then, so I wrote the story in Word. Looking back at that story I have to admit it needs a lot of work.
• Where do you like to write the most?
I need to feel as comfortable as possible when I write, so the answer would be seated behind my desk using my computer. From coffee recipe to clothing, it all follows a writing ritual, which can only be repeated in spaces I feel familiar with.
• What kind of music do you listen to while writing?
It would have to be instrumental music. Though I am an apt radio lover, I need to hear nothing but my own voice inside me when I write. Smooth, chilled out jazz, classic or even lounge music would be my genres of choice.
• Where do ideas come from?
They could come from a story I heard happening, or something I read. I am mostly inspired by everyday people’s lives rather than major historical figures. Apart from true events I could sometimes find inspiration in films or literature. Every time a story just popped up in my mind, it would be the conclusion to a chain of thoughts on daily issues.
• If you could go anywhere in space and time, where would that be?
I have thought of many different answers to this question. I wish I could be a student in his 20s in New York or in Paris in the 60s where so many changes would happen. I would also like to live in Athens during the classic era, where a lot of new ideas were introduced for the first time. Sometimes I wish I could meet my future self in 30 years and look at my life achievements, but cinema has proven many times that time travel does not work in this way.