Tuesday, November 23, 2021


A salute to everyone reading this interview. MATHIEU GOMPEL is a french screenwriter who complete two works shot as a feature films and those are: "THE DREAM KIDS" and the one that made us talk "THE OWNERS", starred by Maisie Williams (Games Of Thrones), He is co-writer alongside the director Julius Berg. The movie follows A group of friends think they found the perfect easy score - an empty house with a safe full of cash. But when the elderly couple that lives there comes home early the tables are suddenly turned. As a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues the would-be thieves are left to fight to save themselves from a nightmare they could never have imagined.

The movie is an adaptation from the graphic novel Une nuit de pleine lune by Hermann and Yves H. The movie was out by RLJ Entertainment on September 4, 2020 on VOD, Digital formats and Limited Theaters and on october 20, 2020 in DVD and Bluray formats in USA. In the UK had a Digital release date on February 22, 2021 and a DVD release date on March 1, 2021 by Signature Entertainment.

I had the chance to talk with MATHIEU about his career, the reason to become a writer, the methods he uses when it comes to write a script, the ins and outs during the adaptation of the movie, the way the creative work was distributed all concerned to the creation process and the successful way to make scripts. If you wanna hear practical advice to put on practice when trying to make your first script, well, don't hesitate anymore, scroll down and read this interview.

EFF: I am grateful to you for letting me chat with you and I appreciate the time you put on this interview. Where are you from?

MG: thank you for your interest in the film and my work. I was born and live in Paris, France

EFF: Mathieu, would you tell us a little bit about you and your career?

MG: When I was a child, I wanted to do comics, then as a teenager, I wanted to do cinema as a director. I went to film school in Paris where I made a short film. When I left I made other self-produced products but I was not satisfied with the result. These short films have not been shown to many people. I specialized in writing (but maybe one day the desire to direct again will come back to me). I wrote for the theater, directed plays, then I wrote for television and cinema. Today two films that I co-wrote have been produced: “The Dream Kids” a teen drama in 2013 and “The owners” in 2020. I have a pretty eclectic taste and love for the genre.

EFF: Why you decided to become a writer?

MG: A lot has always happened in my head. I have always had a taste for inventing worlds, another reality. By drawing when I was a child, or later, by writing. It was while learning the methods of writing and its tools that I perceived that this was an area in which I felt good. I would say that the desire to become a screenwriter dates back to my leaving film school and the beginning of collaborating with other authors.
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EFF: As you said you co-wrote the horror film "THE OWNERS" alongside Julius Berg, which is based on the graphic novel "Une nuit de pleine lune". Let me ask you how did you get into the project?

MG: In fact I was the one who told Julius Berg the director and co-writer about the comic book « Une Nuit de Pleine Lune". I read it in 2011 when it was released and immediately saw the possibility of adaptation into a horror thriller. I started collaborating with Julius in 2013, we were working on a big project that was difficult to produce, that's when I made him read the comics and he immediately saw the potential as I did. We contacted the authors Hermann and Yves H whom gave us an agreement in principle so that we could develop the project and find an interested producer.
The owners

EFF: How many drafts were written prior to obtain the final and chosen one?

MG: First of all, it should be noted that Julius and I write in French, but from the start the idea was to make the film in England, therefore in English. We found a French producer with a first treatment. We then wrote a second version before moving on to the dialogues, the script was translated in order to find a producer in England and other partners. We wrote two first versions of the script before finding Alain de la Mata and Christopher Granier-Deferre, English producers, then Geoff Cox joined us in the writing to adapt the dialogues to two new versions.

EFF: Would you tell us how the script creation process was? How did you approach a work that is based on a thing already existing?

MG: The comic book tells the story of lost young people who break into the home of a retired couple to steal the contents of their safe in their absence. But unable to open it, they wait for them to come home from their evening to ask them for the combination... But nothing goes as planned.

The premise was already there, a closed door on one night… But if in the comic, the story becomes a first degree slasher, our wish was to go elsewhere: towards the psycholic thriller, the grotesque, the almost comical shift. We didn't want to play on the physical strength of the Huggins but on their ability to manipulate. They had to be given a purpose, a secret to keep. We quickly understood that this couple had to sincerely love each other. It is this strong relationship that questions the bond between young people. We have reinvented each of the characters in the film.

EFF: You have two films that have been shot so far. The first one was a comedy and the last one, horror. Tell us what genre you like most if you have one and why and tell us what differences you find writing Horror respect other genres?

MG: I like storytelling. I like to tell stories that are based as much on the plot as on the characters. What I like about the thriller, the horror, the fantastic, is to be able to play with the codes and the expectations of the public and to enter other territories, to be able to question our world, our humanity. this kind of film speaks to the whole body of the viewer.
Mathieu Gompel

EFF: Tell us your writing process? How do you set up your crafting? Do you establish the plot immediately or do you let yourself get along by the story?

MG: It all depends on the project I'm working on and who I'm doing it with. Usually I go back and forth between the plot and the characters and once I have the theme I try to articulate a speech. I like to structure with index cards and gradually go into details. And I rework until it becomes clear.

EFF: What are your favorite movie writers?

MG: Difficult question. I can answer you William Goldman, Paul Schrader, the Coen brothers ... but to be honest, what I like above all are the films.
The Owners cast and crew

EFF: What are your short and medium - terms goals in this industry?

MG: I would like the several scripts I'm currently working on to become movies and to be called in to write more. Nothing more but it is already a lot.

EFF:  What new projects are you working on now, something you can anticipate us now? 

MG: Better not to talk too much about it until it's done. There's a quirky comedy, film noir, and anticipation thriller (normally directed by Julius) along with other stuff in the works.

EFF: If a producer gives you a chance to write a horror film remake, what would it be and why? 

MG: Maybe "The Hidden" directed by Jack Sholder and written by Jim Kouf. I haven't seen him for a very long time, but I still have some strong images. I think a current version could be produced and updated to talk about today's world.

EFF: How have you lived this pandemic? Personally, Professionally…

MG: I experienced the confinements quite well at the start. I am lucky to have space at home. Thanks to Zoom and Skype, I was able to continue working on my writing with the directors and producers. "The owners" was released in this period. Which is not a dream situation and then like everyone else, gradually, isolation, fatigue and depression appeared. Last March, I had the covid, a week in my bed. I hope we can get out of bad nightmare soon.

EFF : Would you like to say anything?

MG: Many thanks for all these questions. I encourage all readers to see "The Owners". Otherwise I wish you all the best

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