a few months ago

“Drawish” written by Gabriel Mara

Austin Comedy Short Film Festival 

Fall 2017 Official Selection

  • Screenplay Title: "Drawish"
  • Screenwriter: Gabriel Mara
  • Length: 11 Pages
  • Links: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  • Category: Short Comedy Screenplay
  • Tagline: "Charming loser Sonny loves two things: phone chess and a girl named Emma. Wait, only one thing."
Screenwriter Gabriel Mara Drawish

"Drawish" the story behind the story

We had an opportunity to catch up with Gabriel Mara for an inside look at the "Drawish" short comedy screenplay.

  1. What is the title of your screenplay and why did you think that your screenplay was a good fit for the Austin Comedy Short FF? “If there's a home for vanguard filmmaking in comedy and drama, it's Austin. Portland seems too cool and too strange, New York hates you, LA pretends to love you but hates you, so that leaves Austin to tell a sad story about funny people.”
  2. What inspired you to write this screenplay and how did you come up with the title? “The main character of Sonny is inspired by a dear friend who was half charming manslut and half loving and deeply depressed neurotic. He and I would play chess against each other for hours while talking about our broken hearts and failed relationships. It finally gelled together. The title refers to a chess term, where playing drawishly means you're playing to tie rather than win or lose. Sonny genuinely doesn't know what he wants but wants to want to know and wants to be a good person. But he plays the game poorly for being such a good player. So it ends with two losses and a new game.”
  3. What was your inspiration for some of the characters in your screenplay? “My friend who will remain nameless is basically Sonny with some liberties taken for dramatic effect. He's not nearly as terrible as Sonny but he is as kind. It's not the most flattering portrayal, so he gets to remain anonymous. Purely fictional events though. I assure you.”
  4. In your mind, where do you see this story taking place and why? “I grew up in suburban Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley. It's a beautiful area if you like to watch the seasons change, but I always felt a kind of defiant stagnant angst about our proximity to Philadelphia and New York. Some people leave, some people stay, but we're always changing. Home is home.”
  5. Do you have plans to fund the production of this film independently? If so, where are you at, in the process? “No intentions yet. I go where the wind takes me, so maybe that'll be Austin or Chicago or LA or St. Thomas. Moves take about as much money as producing a short. If there was outside interest removed from my own coffers, I'd leap at the opportunity.”
  6. Has creating this screenplay helped your writing career in any way? “Not yet, but it's the script I'm proudest of so far out of a thick cabinet of rejects.”
  7. What were some of the creative challenges that you encountered while writing this screenplay? “I was always concerned about doing right by the female characters and I'm honestly unsure if I succeeded. I tried to make Emma as funny and likable in her own way as her own human being as much as possible, but you're never happy knowing you failed the Bechdel Test. Or you shouldn't be anyway.”
  8. How do you promote your screenplay on social media or other online websites. “Instagram and twitter, primarily. It'd be a different story if production were under way, but only time will tell.”
  9. Did you have any funny or weird ideas that popped into your head while writing this screenplay, that didn't make the final draft? “I tend to talk out loud to myself while running in order to write dialogue which ends up being five page dialogue scenes I make myself slash into one. They were mostly d!ck jokes though, so that was probably for the best.”

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