Written by Allison Hanna
When an impassive medium helps on a supernatural murder case where the only witness is a woman with DID, he finds himself grappling with his own mysterious identity as he pursues the monstrous killer.
Q&A with Allison Hanna
Q1: Tell us a little about Whisper, winner of Best Feature Screenplay in the festival.
WHISPER is my first attempt at taking a character I’d created in middle school and utilizing him in a story as an adult. Everything from his name to his personality, psychic ability, and dual personality, were used and enhanced on. I really wanted to write something my 12-year-old self would’ve loved.
Q2: Who is the central character of your script? What do you think their conscious and unconscious desires are?
The central character is an aloof medium named Toshiro, who goes by Agent Whisper professionally. He’s very job-oriented, often at the cost of self-alienating. While he seems to prefer simply working and being alone, he comes to realize that connecting with others will help him better understand himself.
Q3: What were the toughest aspects of creating your screenplay? How did you overcome them?
Writing Marisol, a character with DID, was new territory, as I wanted to write her with respect and play less into the sensationalized tropes of the disorder. I spent a lot of time researching it as best as I could before I started writing the script.
Q4: What inspired you to enter into the world of screenwriting?
I’ve been writing for most of my life and always enjoyed the production aspect of films. I’ve been interested in screenwriting for most of that time as well.
Q5: What intrigues you the most about writing and storytelling? (Is it characterization, plot, etc?)
I love creating characters and giving them little quirks and traits. One of my favorite aspects of writing is dialogue too. I just love writing people interacting.
Q6: Do you have any screenwriting/film influences or people you look up to?
Some of my favorite film creators are Guillermo del Toro, Jordan Peel, John Carpenter, and the Coen Brothers. I feel like they all write and create projects that they themselves knew they would’ve enjoyed if they were outside the industry.
Q7: What's your process for creating script concepts?
I keep a journal full of whatever weird ideas I come up with, or ideas I’ve had in the past. When one really sounds interesting to dive into, I try to develop it. Some are based on nightmares or dreams. Some are based even on inside jokes I’ve made with friends or family.
Q8: What is the single best piece of advice you can give to aspiring screenwriters?
Write any crazy idea you have. And also talk with other writers! Don’t just network. Make friends!
Q9: Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects?
I’m working on editing several other scripts, outlining a new project which would be an adaptation of FAUST, and writing episodes for an upcoming Youtube channel that discusses pop culture and media.
Q10: Where can people find out more about your work?
I’m very active on my Twitter account @AllieGateau and also have much of my work available to read on my Coverfly profile.
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