#17 - Lally Katz (Playwright/Screenwriter)


In today's episode we chat to award winning playwright and screenwriter Lally Katz about her debut feature film “Stories I Want To Tell You In Person”, which was adapted from her 2013 one woman show. 

"Stories I Want To Tell You In Person" is screening as part of this year's Melbourne International Film Festival. Head on down to ACMI on Sunday the 16th of August to see this gem on the big screen.

It will also be screening on ABC on August 20th and 27th at 10pm.

Highlights from this Episode:

Advice to young writers:

"I would encourage young writers to take from their own life. I think you learn form from watching films, television, theatre. But don't take the stories and characters from that. Take the stories and characters from your own life... That's what writers do, we're vampires."

"For writers who write dialog, it's so important to hear your dialog... Reading your stuff out loud, I've always found very helpful."

On drafting:

"When I was young writer I was very scared of doing redrafts because all my writing came from my subconscious. And I think often we redraft with our conscious mind, and I think that's very scary... I always think of it like, the first draft is this body and it's alive and there's blood in it, but it can't really walk, like its leg is coming out of its head, but it's alive. And then the second draft, you cut it all apart and put it the right way, but all the blood's gone. And then the third draft you've got to keep the shape of it but then get the blood back into it. And then that's when it works. And sometimes it comes out perfectly formed, and sometimes you do sixteen drafts and it's never quite right."

On writing about people from your life:

"People are funny. I think in a way, people would rather you write about them than didn't write about them."

"I guess my rule is, I only write about someone if I love them. I think if you write about someone, even if they've broken your heart or whatever, you love them, and I think I would find it very hard to write about someone I hated. For me, I think you have to find the heart of the character and feel the heart of the character in order to write them... It's coming from a place of love, which doesn't mean that they're going to like it. But at least you don't feel like you've deliberately done a number on them."

On her writing process:

"Usually what will happen is I'll meet somebody, a person in life, and the atmosphere changes and I'm like 'you!' And that's what happened with those psychics in Stories I Want To Tell You In Person. I was like partly 'oh, you're going to save my life', and I was like partly 'good character!'"

"I would love it if I could research, like other writers who go to the library and research. Turns out I can't... And so my research is living someone, and I can't actually write it until I've got enough blood from living it..."

Chris Pahlow

Chris Pahlow is an independent writer/director currently in post-production on his debut feature film PLAY IT SAFE. Chris has been fascinated with storytelling since he first earned his pen license and he’s spent the last ten years bringing stories to life through music videos, documentaries, and short films.