WILDsound’s feedback notes taught me, analysis after analysis, how to trim the fat and think organically, and helped me understand that in a good script “less means more”.
– Alexandre Kounde, on the WILDsound experience (Review)
Watch the TV PILOT ‘NO LOVE DOVES’ by Alexandre Kounde
NARRATOR – Allison Kampf
Marcus – Mark Sparks
Dhara – Amaka Umeh
Sydney – Ashley Arnett
Randolph – Lucas James
Moira – Val Cole
Luke – Andrew Tite
Victor – John Goodrich
Matthew Toffolo interviews writer Alexandre Kounde
Matthew: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?
Alexandre: No Love Doves is about a team of four private detectives who investigate infidelity cases while striving to cope with the drama in their own lives. This story is an analysis of the Death of love in conjugal relationships and in the broader context of human relationships.
Matthew: Why should this script be made into a TV show?
Alexandre: No Love Doves invites to follow an uncommon type of investigators. The detectives in this story do not represent law and order and are not qualified to solve any crime. They are just people who try to mark the boundary between love and lust, which is an inner struggle a lot of people can relate to I believe…
Matthew: How long have you been writing stories?
Alexandre: I have been writing seriously, meaning almost every day, for three years now, but the starting point for me was in 2007, when I took a creative writing class at university. I think that’s when I saw a glimpse of a skill I could develop, but I didn’t go for it then because I was more focused on acting.
Matthew: What movie have you seen the most in your life?
Alexandre: I have seen many movies many times, but the first that comes to my mind is Brother from Takeshi Kitano. To me this movie is quite a masterpiece, from the storytelling to the music. Kitano wrote it and stars in it, but since he doesn’t say more than five whole sentences throughout the whole movie (114 min), I just find it artistically stunning! Every time I watch it, it reminds me that writing is not only about words but the entire world that lies behind them, subtext, more precisely.
Matthew: What artists would you love to work with?
Alexandre: I’m going to have to quote Stanislavski on this one by saying that I would love to work with artists who “love art in themselves, and not themselves in art”.
Matthew: How many stories/screenplays have you written?
Alexandre: So far I have written three screenplays, including two features that need more drafts since they were my very first scripts, and No Love Doves.
Matthew: Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
Alexandre: Ideally, I would love to be an established screenwriter. I still have lots of ideas I want to lay out on paper. I wouldn’t mind getting into directing either.
Matthew: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
Alexandre: I have been working as a translator (From English into French) for eight years now, which means that I spend a great deal of time on my computer and I have accumulated enough professional experience to find my job quite repetitive and tedious at times. So whenever I’m bored translating, which happens almost every day, I switch to my script to get some excitement. If I’m overloaded with work during the day, I will write for a short time before I go to bed.
As for my writing process itself, I like to structure the story/scene in my mind first; knowing what will happen, to whom, when, etc. Once I have a solid story/scene basis in my head, I outline it on my computer or cellphone if I’m outside, then I get to the writing part. I almost always write while listening to score composers (e.g. Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Joe Hisaishi). I’ve found that music helps me visualize things more clearly and take my writing to the next level.
Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Alexandre: I love travelling and discovering new parts, cultures and peoples of the world (when I can afford it), reading of course, and Afro Latin drumming.
Matthew: What influenced you to submit to the WILDsound Festival?
Alexandre: It was to get professional feedback on my work. The comments I received on the first two scripts (features) that I submitted (several times) to the WILDsound Festival almost had me to quit writing. No kidding. These scripts being my very first ones, thus very long, overdetailed and structurally-deficient, WILDsound taught me, analysis after analysis, how to trim the fat and think organically, and helped me understand that in a good script “less means more”.
Matthew: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Alexandre: Hard not to sound corny here, but becoming a better writer only comes with practice and perseverance. It really does sound corny I know, but that’s the simple truth, as my answer to the previous question illustrates it. Also, I think that reading scripts, ‘how-to’ books (according to the aspects of writing you want to master), and relevant articles from writers’ community websites definitely helps too.
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