by Emily Edwards
followed by Q&A
Emily D. Edwards was a producer and journalist before she joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The writer/director of many films, Edwards has also published books and articles on popular media. Her films have screened on national television, in theaters, and festivals. They include documentaries, narrative feature films, animations, experimental films and shorts. Her most recent publication is a chapter in From the Arthouse to the Grindhouse (2010), a book dealing with cinematic transgressions. Her most recent screenwriting award is the King Family Foundation Award for the narrative feature screenplay, Rude Planet.
Q: What was the inspiration for this piece?
A: This story was inspired by a colleague of mine, Paul Gulino, a professor at Chapman University, who pitched me a story about an Internet date gone bad. In Paul’s story, the couple agrees to meet at an art gallery, but it quickly becomes clear that the young man doesn’t like art and the art doesn’t like him. I changed Paul’s story and characters and included a Pygmalion element, but kept Paul’s location in a gallery and his idea that art was literally alive and judgmental. The publication of a screenplay/storyboard is a real thrill for me. I’ve always felt that modern readers are so media literate that they could enjoy the unproduced screenplay as a literary form, mentally casting and directing the work for themselves as they read. I’m hoping this is the case for “Art Critic.”
Q: What have you been reading lately?
A: Ellen Besen, Animation Unleashed, Kathryn Stockett, The Help, Randsome Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Q: Where do you write?
A: I normally write screenplays using Screenwriter software—so at a computer.
Q: Deciduous or coniferous?
A: Although I am aging and dropping lots of things recently, and so probably deciduous, I’d like to imagine that I’m an evergreen.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Actually, I’d like to make “Art Critic” as a short animated film, but have no budget. So, my challenge will be finding talented vocal actors who could work for free and allow me to video tape their movements while I make the audio recording of their voices. (Although the characters are already designed, casting can influence the ultimate look of the animation. I take into account actors expressions and movements while animating.) At the moment I am between script and
production and not involved in any other artistic endeavor, which is a bit disconcerting.