Interview with ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner Georgina Love
Georgina Love was named a 2018 ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner for her sci-fi feature Pig, which follows an experimental scientist as he raises a sentient pig as a mirror image of his terminally ill son. When the pig learns his "father's" plans have a sinister bent, he fights to resist the inevitable.
Q: What was the ScreenCraft Fellowship week like for you? What meetings did you take?
A: Fellowship week was amazing! I, like most writers, am a sucker for overthinking things and I needn't have been so worried. I was put up in the amazing Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – where I mainly swanned around in a bathrobe. My fellow winners, Brock and Davia were wonderful and I was always grateful to have them in meetings with me. It was a team effort and we often complimented each other and gave each other segues into pitching our ideas and projects. In them, I feel that I have made lifelong collaborative partnerships. I had meetings with industry professionals including Cate Adams (Warner Bros.), Jonathan Wu (20th Century Fox), Wayne Horton (Netflix), Jeannette Francis (Bad Robot), Richard Ruiz, (Fox Searchlight), Steve Douglas (Sony Screen Gems) Mika Pryce (Universal Pictures), as well as a litany of producers and literary agents. I especially enjoyed the ScreenCraft legacy dinner, where I was able to meet past ScreenCraft Fellowship alumni and hear about how their careers were progressing. It gave a wonderful insight into all the amazing things to come!
Q: What are your top three key takeaways from ScreenCraft Fellowship week and the meetings you had?
- Overall, being a screenwriter is a heartbreaking line of work. I'm willing to go through heartbreak if I get to do something I love.
- You must, must, must be able to prove that you are a machine, a factory of amazing ideas. Not only that, you have to prove you can write these amazing ideas down. Do it quickly, do it well and never forget that in this industry, you are only as good as your last screenplay.
- If you are an aspiring screenwriter, LA is where it is happening. It is a hive of industry. The international market is always growing and online content is on the rise, but if you are young enough, hungry enough and determined enough – LA is the place to be. I plan to have moved out there in the next 6 – 8 months – visa pending.
Q: How long had you worked on your winning script, PIG, and what draft number did you submit? What made you think that would be the one?
A: I am one of those hideously annoying writers who DO NOT WRITE. Obviously, I do write – but I have never been someone who sits down and makes themselves write every day. I think – a lot. I go on long walks, I create a soundtrack on Spotify for what I'm writing, a mood board on Pinterest. I work out bits of dialogue, scenes, pieces of imagery I think are impactful. To me, writing is like blowing up a balloon. It takes time, patience, a wary eye and a lot of air. Sure, it might be quicker to rig the balloon up to a leaf blower but it will probably get overcrowded and burst. So, I gestated on Pig for about three months after coming up with the initial idea. Although I'm an advocate for not rushing into writing, I think you need to be putting fingers to keyboards within a short period time – otherwise you can become overly precious with your work. I only wrote Pig in about two weeks. I worked towards the ScreenCraft Fellowship deadline (that's another tip, find a deadline to submit to). The draft of Pig I submitted was only a second draft – but again, I had been moving it around and working out the finer details in my head for about three months. It also grew as I wrote it. I have pretty key plot points but then want to see where the story goes from there. I submitted to ScreenCraft, initially to get feedback from an international reader. My ideas are pretty out there and I was curious to see if they would track with an American audience. After that, it kept rising.
Q: How long have you been screenwriting and why do you want to be a screenwriter?
A: I actually started off acting as a kid. I have dangerously supportive parents and my dad would take me by train into the city so I could yell a lot and make fart jokes in front of an audience. This went on until I was about sixteen. I was in an acting class, we were filmed – and a teenage existential crisis ensued. Although I realised I didn't want to be an actress, I did have a hard time letting go of the stories we created. We often performed stuff we wrote ourselves and I missed that. I missed creating. I think that's an important thing as a screenwriter. You have to write stuff that you secretly want to star in – as well as play all the minor roles in. I wrote a few plays in high school then went to University in a desperate attempt to appear sensible. I quit after one year and took a break. I fell back into writing after doing a short online course at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. I then enrolled in an Advanced Diploma of Screenwriting for Television and I've been writing now for about two and a half years.
Q: What's your most memorable moment from fellowship week?
A: Aside from listening to Brock butcher my beautiful Australian accent? Haha. Well, that's a really tough call. I think, for me, it was meeting with Richard Ruiz at Fox Searchlight. Up until that point, Brock, Davia and myself had been going to meetings together along with a representative from ScreenCraft. The meeting at Searchlight, I was completely by myself. That was terrifying, but also a real moment of serenity. You sort of have to go "okay, this is a really grown up thing that you're doing. You wrote this script in a baggy sweatshirt, eating chocolate like the laws of universe didn't apply to you and now you're sitting in a room one on one with a development executive from Searchlight pictures and he's asking you what your writing process is like and how you created a story." That's definitely when I realized that I might be able to really make a career out of this.
Q: What do you look forward to most in the coming months?
A: I'm still taking meetings in Australia, so I'm really excited to see how they go! At the moment, I'm just keeping momentum going. One of the key pieces of advice that was repeated by almost everyone we met with was that you must keep writing. There is no room in this industry for a one trick pony – no matter how good that trick is. I've only been back in Australia for a week but I've been busy setting up my life so I can write more and make regular visits to LA in order to stay relevant. I'm really excited about a couple of ideas I'm working on and I can't wait to use the network of contacts ScreenCraft provided to circulate them when they are ready for an audience!