The comedy short screenplay, Probert Bound, is an official selection of the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Fall 2017.
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- Category: Short Screenplay
- Screenwriter: Kyle Smith
- Tagline: “Probert discovers masturbation and must figure out how to continue the practice despite his family's strict religious mores.”
- Review: "Venturing into uncomfortable social territory, Kyle Smith tells a story that will leave you smiling in the end."
Writer's Biography: Kyle Smith
Kyle Smith is a Dramatist originally from Orinda, California. He recently completed his MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU where he was a recipient of the TSOA fellowship.
His screenplays include A More Perfect Union (Finalist Twin Falls Sandwiches Film Festival, semi finalist LA Cinefest), Higher Education (official selection Focus International Film Festival, LA Live Film Festival), Hair of the Dog (official selection Frostbite International Film Festival, Hellfire Short Film Festival, and Probert bound.
His plays include Blinded (Goldberg Play Prize Finalist), The Correctable, The Part of Me, Inherit the Earth, Revolution, Frisky, Squashy, Marriage; A Gay Fantasia, Burning, and A Smattering of Indigestion (a series of absurd shorts). His plays have been produced at The Treehouse Theater, The Robert Moss Theater, Manhattan Rep, and Shetler
Interview with Kyle Smith
- 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? “Adolescence and coming of age stories are universal. What's slightly less universal in film and literature is the part of coming of age that all little boys and horrified mothers remember with either fondness or great horror. The discovery of masturbation. I wanted to bring all that terror, shame, and joy to Austin, leaving your wracked with paroxysms of laughter.”
- What inspired you to write this screenplay and how did you come up with the title? “I wrote this as my first screenplay for my Screen one class while getting my masters at NYU. I had been reading Greek mythology and was interested in the Prometheus myth, so I decided I would do an inversion of that myth, with Prometheus being taken over by Probert. Because, when it comes down to it, what is masturbation, but the fire of the Gods?”
- What was your inspiration for some of the characters in your screenplay? “The parents are based off of Zeus and Hera. And among the kids, Probert is Prometheus, Atman is Atlas, and Sicil is Sisyphus in this modern retelling.”
- In your mind, where do you see this story taking place and why? “I see this taking place in a suburb where repression is smiled upon, and kids are controlled when they try to take control of their bodies.”
- Has creating this screenplay helped your writing career in any way? “This screenplay was how I learned to screenwrite. My professor Shinho Lee helped me with all the stupid mistakes I made, and helped me understand film better as a visual medium. Prior to this screenplay, I had only ever written plays.”
- What were some of the creative challenges that you encountered while writing this screenplay? “The first draft of this screenplay was all dialogue. Shinho Lee challenged me to envision each scene and create a world around each word which I had never done before. Now that I've started, I don't see myself going back to how I wrote before.”
- Did you have any funny or weird ideas that popped into your head while writing this screenplay, that didn't make the final draft? “The weirdest/ most sacrilegious idea did make it into the final draft. Probert retiring his masturbation materials of a picture of Ellie Kemper, a bottle of Lotion, and a postcard of the nursing Madonna. I felt like I had gone a bit too far with the nursing Madonna, but what's life without a little blasphemy?”