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Going Your Own Way - An interview with Adam Harris

Adam Harris, a film production student at Brooklyn College, wrote 'Go Your Own Way', a short script about a former dancer-turned-choreographer struggling with her art and life as she tries to get her first production off the ground.

Frances Ha, 2012

'Go Your Own Way' Won Silver in the Independent Shorts Awards, was a Five Continents International Film Festival Winner, and Sunday Shorts Script Competition Winner.

Sunday Shorts Festival Director Lee Squires was very keen to speak to Adam about his recent success, and find out his about his writing process.

Q: Why did you write this script? Was it for a particular brief or deadline?

A: I had been taking film production classes at Brooklyn College and had written a thesis film in Fall 2014 but was not happy with it. Finally, May 2018 rolled around and, independent of any deadlines, I had an inner need to tell a story. I think it’s a testament to the idea that some ideas take time, and writers are forced to respect that variable.

I guess I always knew what I wanted the story to be, but struggled with how to set it. Once I had the title, I knew what my character wanted. By the end of July it was done, so about three months of on and off all-nighters.

Q: Perhaps you can relate to your protagonist's situation, but why did you choose a female dancer specifically?

A: I was raised by my mother in a household with two sisters, and writing about women helps me to remember this setup fondly. Moreover, I have a largely feminine mentality and comically struggle with the masculine in my own personality.

I think there’s a long literary history of men writing women protagonists to be able to imbue them with a humanism that would seem un-masculine in a male character. It’s hard to think of an interesting dramatic plot built around a feminine male character. Not impossible; just difficult!

So I’ll cop to attempting that gender switch in Go Your Own Way. And dance, maybe because it is beyond my own personal abilities but that I see a connection between the budding choreographer and writer-filmmaker, as desperate planners of feeling who face all kinds of practical realities, and therefore found I had something to contribute personally.

Q: What's your plan for this script now it's multi-award winning? Do you plan to make it yourself, or use it as an example of your work?

A: Due to my return to college after having completed the script, I will be shooting Go Your Own Way in Spring 2019. I think where the awards come in is they will give me the confidence to take the script I wrote without representation or clout directly to talent and production individuals I’ve never met and more reasonably ask for their participation, which I am immensely grateful for.

Q: What do you aspire to be/write in the future? Is there anything you're particularly drawn to/interested in?

A: I’d like to write small, naturalistic films. Sometimes I think of humanity in the distant future as needing art generally to remember the cultural wisdom of a time, and I’d be blessed to write, make, or have anything to do with those kinds of films in the time that I have.

Q: So, what's next for you?

A: I think reading loads of successful, already sold scripts and plays of all genres could really polish my abilities and refine what I want to write about, which is what I plan to turn to after post-production.

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