2006 FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards - Interview - Yvonne Borgogni


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Yvonne Borgogni
Seventh Place Winner
Yvonne Borgogni
New York, NY

Yvonne Borgogni was born in Germany, but spent most of her childhood studying in Switzerland. She then continued her education in London, Florence, and Brussels before moving to New York City which now she calls her home.

Although Yvonne is fluent in several languages, she writes all of her fiction work in English. She favors romantic comedies and dramas and has completed several feature-length screenplays and short scripts. In addition, she has written and directed two short films. Yvonne studied filmmaking at New York University.


I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........

after taking my first screenwriting class. Looking back, I always knew I wanted to be a writer and I always loved movies.

I know I've succeeded........ 

the obvious answer is if I sell a screenplay, win an award, and ultimately to be recognized as a writer. Then again, it's all about the journey: putting the first word on a blank page is almost as exciting as writing down the last word.

My inspiration to write CHANGING BILLY.......

came when I saw a bunch of kids aimlessly hanging around the streets and I was wondering what had happened to all their dreams. I became intrigued by the thought of what could spark in them the desire to aim for the seemingly impossible.




FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Yvonne Borgogni: Novelists -- Hesse, Hemingway, Faulkner etc. I was and still am today a voracious reader. I read lots of fiction and some non-fiction, mainly about screenwriting, directing, and movies. Writing is a lot more than just putting words onto the page. It's about creating new worlds, putting life into characters, and making them live through unusual situations.

FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?

Yvonne Borgogni: I read about a dozen books on screenwriting and many screenplays. I took classes with Syd Field and Robert McKee. And then I sat down to write, which turned out to be the best part.

FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?

Yvonne Borgogni: Changing Billy is not my first script. It took me about two and a half months to write it -- 5 weeks to research and outline, 3 weeks to write, and another two to three weeks for rewrites.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?

Yvonne Borgogni:
I can write anywhere. Once I start writing a screenplay I write daily and set goals for myself. I love to write from very early in the morning to about noon. Occasionally I succeed. Normally, however, I have to juggle more than one thing at a time and I just end up writing whenever I can.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?

Yvonne Borgogni: 'Certain' screenplay contests can be extremely important for aspiring screenwriters. It's a great way to get one's work read and validated and, depending on the outcome, may lead to an opportunity for one-on-one meetings with producers and agents. After that it's the writers responsibility to make the most out of it.

FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards?

Yvonne Borgogni: Reputation was very important. I'm very selective when it comes to screenwriting competitions. And the opportunity to have my script read by professionals, and if I should win, the possibility to meet with producers and agents.

FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?

Yvonne Borgogni: There are many, but if I have to choose one it would be 'Basic Instinct', a page turner. The story is set up on page one. Eszterhas vividly describes the world of Catherine Tramell. A world most of us have never lived in. And as much as we despise Catherine we still want her to fall in love with Det. Nick Curran. 'A Few Good Men' would be my pick for dialogue.

FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?

Yvonne Borgogni: I love to direct and edit. I love movies. I love to read. Music inspires me and I wish I could compose music myself. It always amazes me how someone can come up with the right note for a particular scene. And I love art that goes beyond the museum, like walking early in the morning through the streets of Rome, there's so much beauty and history. Traveling, experiencing different cultures, and kids... I love to see the world through their eyes.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Yvonne Borgogni: Again, I have many favorite screenwriters. One is Richard Linklater. His work is human, personal, and original. And Nancy Meyers. She knows how to write romantic comedies... sorry, I had to name a second one.

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?

Yvonne Borgogni:
Martin Scorsese, although there's Anthony Minghella, Ang Lee, and Tom Tykwer. Mr. Scorscese's unlimited energy is addictive, he always seems to know what he wants without hesitation, he has a fantastic ear for music, and is a master of editing, which essentially is the last rewrite. I would learn a lot from him and occasionally I could speak Italian with him.

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?

Yvonne Borgogni: Diane Keaton. She's extremely talented, intelligent, and always stays true to who she is.

FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?

Yvonne Borgogni: I learned so many things and I'm still learning, but the most important thing is never to give up. And write, write, and write.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Yvonne Borgogni: Right now I'm writing a really funny, at least I think it is, romantic comedy. And I'm in pre-production for another short.

FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?

Yvonne Borgogni: I'll be sitting at a huge conference telling aspiring screenwriters how I became a A-list writer/director, and, of course, I'll be writing.

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