My previous interview was with the fabulous novelist Candace Bushnell , the creator of Sex and the City. I love writers and their inner rich worlds so today I have the pleasure of introducing you to another lady who writes: The scriptwriter Kaede Loh. Kaede is talented, kind and a real “Lady of the World”. She has written a marvellous script entitled “The Talented Uncle Julien” that I will be directing next. We are currently working together with our producer- Ben Richards- in trying to secure funds to make this film just as we envision it.Let’s find out about her and her writing.
1- Tell us about your background
I’m a self-taught screenwriter from Singapore. I’m originally from Malaysia, but I gave up my pre-u studies to pursue a music career in Singapore. I work as a piano teacher. Music plays a big part in my life and it was music that lead me to scriptwriting. Each time I hear a piece of music, I visualise the cinematic scenes in my mind and that keeps me writing more and more screenplays. I love music, films, photography, traveling, cooking. I love Spanish/Latin American culture; language, music, architecture, etc…
2-How did you became a scriptwriter?
I was writing for TV but gave up after a few rejections. After a long halt, I started writing again at the end of 2012. One of the reasons I write is to work with my idol, Japanese actor Takuya Kimura. I’ve written a full screenplay with him in mind, he was my inspiration and I hope he plays the main part in the film “The Talented Uncle Julien”. I attended the London Screenwriters’ Festival in 2013 to hone my skills and to network with writers around the world but I feel pretty much a self taught screenwriter.
3- What are you working on at the moment?
Besides The Talented Uncle Julien, I’m working on a drama/romance set in Buenos Aires about a Japanese Tango dancer , it’s entitled ‘The Forbidden Dance’. I have also written a thriller ‘The Suites of Crescent Woods’ that is set in London and Eisenach. I do have a few more scripts that need some editing and I’m planning to do Chinese screenplays for Taiwan/China.
4- How did you come across your team for the movie “The Talented Uncle Julien”
I tweeted about the completion of my screenplay stating that I was looking for a director/producer. A friend saw the tweet and he introduced me to the director – Amancay Tapia. We exchanged emails and I sent her the script. She liked it and we started to develop the screenplay. She met her good actor friend Ernesto Cantu, and he introduced her to Ben Richards who is now our producer.
5-You live in Singapore, your producer and director in London and the movie is set in Paris, is this how you envisioned this would work? An international cast and crew scattered all over the world?
Yes. To me, the idea of filmmaking is international as hopefully our films will be shown to audiences around the world. Filmmaking is magical, it brings people close together. It is amazing to know there are other people in other parts of the world sharing your vision and getting excited to push the project forward. All my other screenplays if they get green lighted , they will be international co-productions.
6- What are your writing habits, do you have a specific process?
I don’t have writing habits but I think self-discipline is important. In fact, it’s key to complete a screenplay. Many of us do have a day-job, but I think if we make use of any time that is left over or in between lunch/dinner, even if we were to fill in just a scene on the blank page, it will eventually be completed. I do dedicate one full day of the week to write, I call it ‘Script Day’. I don’t give excuses for not doing it unless I’m really ill, or else, rain or shine, I’ll be writing. Remember, if you are not enthusiastic about your story, who will? I usually write at cafes; the music soothes my ears and the conversations from people are interesting to me as they could be useful in the script.
7- How do you see the film industry in China and Asia in general as opposed to Hollywood and Europe
In Asia, filmmakers struggle to get their projects financed especially newbies and those without track records/credits. The producers/investors are doubtful to accept these projects as they don’t guarantee returns, regardless how talented the filmmakers are. However, the cinemas in Asia are full of movie-goers, especially weekends. Movie tickets sell like hot cakes, usually full house. We may have to book tickets online to secure seats one day in advance.I think the film industry in Hollywood/Europe is more benevolent as directors/producers are willing to read scripts from newbies and go for talent instead of credits. In Asia, the first question is ‘who are you?’
8- Why should ” The Talented Uncle Julien “be made and what’s special about it from your point of view?
The Talented Uncle Julien is the first part of ‘The Strokes of Faith’ trilogy. This trilogy is about human’s relationship with art, how art has given them hope and faith, how art can pull a family together and how it gives them future, but most of all, about the belief humans have in art. This movie sends an encouraging message to artists to keep going and to have faith in their talents.
9- What inspired you to write “The Talented Uncle Julien”?
My idol, Takuya Kimura and his favourite city, Paris, gave me the inspiration to write this script. I also love art pieces by French artists, French music and the sound of accordion, this also inspired me to write it. When I listen to French music, I imagine the places in Paris where Julien passes by and every scene in the screenplay.
10- Your dream cast for The Talented Uncle Julien
Takuya Kimura for Uncle Julien and since he’s in his 40s, I guess it is relevant to portray a man in midlife going through certain struggles. As he has many heroic roles, this role will be different as he has never been that sloppy and impoverished.
Romain Duris , French actor. As I was writing, I can imagine his charm, his movement/action for the role.