Film Courage: What were some of the biggest mistakes you made in the beginning of your screenplay writing? How did you realize they were mistakes?
Aleem Hossain, filmmaker and AR/VR creator, assistant professor in media arts and culture at Occidental College: That’s a good question. What are the mistakes? I made all sorts of mistakes when I was starting to write
But I don’t necessarily think of them as mistakes and more I think it’s just the process of learning. I’m happy that I was able to at the time just keep writing and writing.
Things that jump to mind when I think of my particular mistakes, I think 1)I was a little scared of trusting my own point of view. I think I was relying too much on the models of screenwriting, looking at books on The Hero’s Journey and three-act structure and others. I was just obsessed with those things. I was trying to find an answer in them.
At the end of the day I do think they have some…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
ABOUT ALEEM HOSSAIN:
I’m a film writer/director, virtual reality creator, and professor.
I grew up in a Connecticut town so small that Pizza Hut would not deliver there until 1997… but my family was very diverse and international. My father is a Muslim from Bangladesh who immigrated to the US. My mother was born and raised in Connecticut in a Roman Catholic family with roots in Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, and France. I grew up watching baseball and Bollywood, eating curry under a Christmas tree, and waiting for the day when Oreos would no longer use lard as an ingredient… also not until 1997! This multi-cultural mashup has shaped me as an artist.
Most recently, I wrote and directed AFTER WE LEAVE, a gritty sci-fi drama feature film won Best Feature Film at SCI FI LONDON in May 2019 and will soon be released theatrically in the United States.
I was selected for the initial Oculus Launchpad program, a VR incubator run by Facebook/Oculus, where I began developing my ongoing documentary VR series, I NEVER TOLD YOU.
I was an artist-in-residence at the 2017 VR Action Lab where I created NO EASY ANSWERS, a VR anti-bullying project, in collaboration with Google, Harmony Labs, and Screenwriters Colony. It has been translated into several languages and is used by Google Daydream in schools around the world.
I’m currently developing YOU ARE FOREVER, YOU ARE EVERYONE, an interactive narrative sci-fi VR experience with the support of the Tribeca Film Institute.
I am also the ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF DIGITAL STORYTELLING at OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE in Los Angeles where my teaching and research are focused on expanding how we tell stories and who gets to tell them.
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Now on Kickstarter! UNCONDITIONAL (or Berznosacjiuma In Latvian) is a short film that tells the story of an English man that moves to Latvia with his wife. Shortly after they have their first child, she passes away. He decides to stay in order to raise his child as close to how he and his wife intended.