When it comes to challenges, Eszter Angyalosy definitely knows her stuff. A screenwriter, story editor, and writing tutor, Hungarian national Angyalosy started her career at a publishing house. In 2015, she joined HBO Hungary as a development editor, and her novel Wonderland was published. Since 2020, she has acted as a Script Tutor for the IDM Script Lab RACCONTI – a role she will fill for the last time in 2023. Angyalosy has sat down with TAKE to speak about creativity and the shape of success.
Do you think your journey from the publishing world to the film industry has given you a different perspective on writing and creativity?
I believe so, yes. Going through these various formats I learned to identify a lot of similarities, but I was also able to recognise the differences. My approach is from the point of view of the general storytelling; after that, I search for the specifics of the format. For me, creativity is being able to play with the “what if” question regarding content, form, and every aspect of what we’re doing. It’s about trying to push the limits and discovering new territories in the creative process. That’s what we attempt to do with the several projects of our international TV development and production company Joyrider: right now, we’re finishing Frust, a Bosnian-Serbian series, with Firefly Productions; I’ve also been working on a project of mine, the series War of Saints, with a brilliant Italian co-writer, Luigi Campi, and I’m making the festival rounds with Last Chance, a short movie I directed together with my husband.
You’ve been a Script Tutor for RACCONTI for several years. In what way is the Script Lab so valuable for the projects?
The more you talk about your project, the more you understand what it’s really about, and the better it becomes. Talking about it, and understanding how and why the story you want to tell works, makes your job easier when you want to sell it. It’s also essential, before you start shooting, to consciously look at the project as a whole. I love the RACCONTI format because it offers a tailored experience – and all the important aspects. What’s special about it is that it brings in experts to work with the Script Lab participants, and that’s a great opportunity.
What makes a good script? Is it hard to stick to your own “rules”?
If there was a recipe, probably all movies would be the same. It’s exciting that people are free to experiment and figure out new ways to make a good movie. Storytelling is a form of communication: as a filmmaker, you try to deliver a message to the audience, but not directly – it’s a very delicate process of wrapping it into the movie. Your audience will then try to unwrap what you have created. I think a movie will only be successful if viewers understand what you intended to tell them as a filmmaker. I almost never manage to follow my own rules, because once you’re involved in the story, you completely lose your objectivity. To you, it works as is, because you know your project inside out – but that doesn’t necessarily mean other people understand it, too. It can be quite the challenge to switch to an outsider’s perspective to make your script even better.