We talked with Tommy Draper, the writer of “The Maid” (Pro Kopf in German) about the challenges in making a film in just one location, with just one actor, and with a low budget.
What did it feel like, winning the Best Original Screenplay award at Top Shorts?
It felt amazing! The Maid had been on a brilliant festival run, Top Shorts was the last time we were going to enter it anywhere. Finishing on such a high was so perfect for us, and for me as a writer.
How did you get the idea for the film? I hope it wasn’t based on a true story…
The original idea was found online, a very short screenplay written by another writer. The director passed it to me, I loved the idea, but felt it could be so much better. We were kindly given permission to make our version of it. Naturally the original writer credited is with ‘story by’, while I did the new screenplay from scratch.
Watch The Maid's official trailer
The film was shot in one location, showing one character only. Sounds like a challenging mission. How do you keep the viewers engaged throughout the film?
Now that is a challenge. For me, I tried to write the most engaging script I could. Keep everything tight and moving fast. I didn’t want to waste a single line, but give the viewers chance to get engrossed in the character’s world. The acting talent really made the film shine, along with excellent direction, camera work, editing, sound design and music. Everything had to be spot on, or we knew we would lose people.
As a scriptwriter, you probably imagine the scenes differently than the director. What was it like, working with The Maid’s director, Sascha Zimmermann?
It was very easy. Myself and Sascha have been friends for years. The Maid was our 2nd film together, but we had worked together on many screenplays, some of them are filming this year. He has always stayed faith