Screenwriting & Script Reading
I wrote the short script Lovers are Strangers for my Master's degree graduation project.
Mariette and Andréas, a couple in their mid-twenties, meet Marianne at a turning point in her life: she is getting a divorce after 20 years of marriage. While Andréas and Mariette try their best to be supportive to Marianne, they question their own relationship. (See the "On Set " page for visuals.)
This script was written with the help of my screenwriting mentor, Claire Mercier, who supervised all my work through both the Bachelor and Master's programs. Following the making of Lovers are Strangers, I wrote a creative piece about our student-mentor collaboration during the writing of the short script, which was a success among teachers and students of the program. I am currently working on a new story that takes place in Florida.
I have experience in reading, giving feedback and correcting fiction as well as non-fiction work:
- I am currently taking Advanced Screenwriting classes from the UCLA Extension Writers' Program.
- As a casting assistant for casting director Elsa Pharaon, I worked on the pre-production of feature films: Sarah Suco's The Dazzled (released in 2019), Anna Cazenave Cambet's Gold for Dogs (released in 2020), and Hélène Merlin's Cavale (in pre-production). An essential part of the work was to read the scripts and analyze the main characters before starting the researches. We had meetings with the writer and director to talk about the characters and make sure we were all on the same page regarding our research criteria. This task was particularly interesting, because we were looking for non-professional actors in classes, in libraries, bars, even on the street! We needed to trust our instincts and have a perfect understanding of the character to be able to decide sometimes within a few seconds if a person would be a possible fit.
- In October 2020 I assisted a Doctor in Psychoanalysis in the preparation of 3 conferences. I read the conferences (9 hours of talking in total) and gave precise feedback and suggestions, from simple orthography corrections to recommendations about structure. The main goal of this collaboration was to make sure the conferences were understandable for an audience unfamiliar with the subject, but also interesting for the professionals attending the event.
I have always been fascinated by psychology. Growing up with a psychoanalyst parent helped me understand human behaviors and emotions, which has been extremely helpful for building and analyzing fictional characters. It also gave me the opportunity to publish an article about film and psychology in the book Questions actuelles sur l'organisation normale et pathologique du nourrisson (L'Harmattan, 2014).
- The Master's program at Paris 8 involved reading the other students' scripts and giving each other constructive feedback. We followed the evolution of each other's scripts until they were polished. I took extra time with international students to go over their work in detail to help them with orthography, syntax and grammar (for their scripts as well as their non-creative writing assignments).
- After graduating I joined a creative writing workshop for a year in Paris. We gave each other feedback on our work every two weeks. The subjects were very stimulating, pushing our creativity rather than imposing rules. It is during this workshop that I started writing my book. (See paragraph about the book below.)
- As soon as I moved to Florida I was able to sneak into an MFA screenwriting class at the University of Central Florida for a semester as an auditor. I did that to make sure I had a little group of people here with whom I could talk about writing and film in general.
- During the 2020 quarantine I took an online class from Yale University: "Introduction to Theory of Literature" (Professor: Paul H. Fry). I am always eager to learn about anything that could give me more insight into the craft of writing.
I am currently writing a novel, Ailes et îles (in French).
The novel will be divided into about 30 short stories about characters who spend most of their lives in their heads and struggle to make connections with each other. It will be a modern version of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.
The only rule I gave myself for this project is to write for pleasure while exploring and experimenting my writing style. If there are any other rules, they are "non-rules"; in a way I use this project for all my guilty writing pleasures. My favorite non-rule is writing without knowing the end. Without even knowing what's next. Which actually raises some interesting questions about storytelling: it implies rethinking the way a story is told, and why it is told; it changes the role of characters in the storytelling process, making them determine the action, inverting the classical and still predominant rule from Aristotle's Poetics that the action, the story, is what determines the characters.
I am also a professional maternity photographer in Orlando: https://benthuesphotography.com/