It was our pleasure to speak with Kevin David Felix. His script was nominated in the seasonal competition of MIFF. Kevin Felix is a Canadian Screenwriter & Director. Kevin believes in telling compelling and grounded stories that encompass great narrative depth regarding his characters' worlds, allowing the constructed world to aid in the realism of his characters' journeys.
What draws you to writing scripts?
What drew me most to screenwriting was my love for the literacy arts, like writing a book or screenplay can be your mark left on the world, something sought after long after your death. Something I can be remembered for and contribute to the betterment of storytellers who seek to change the world through storytelling.
How and when did you start studying screenwriting?
I started writing in the summer of twenty nineteen after five years of travelling. I had amassed many experiences that left profound marks on and changed me. Before travelling, I struggled to find myself. I was interested in screenwriting for many years, but I did not know what kind of writer I was and lacked enough world experiences to motivate me to commit to writing; you need to be inspired to write. One particular experience during my first trip to Europe, specifically Germany, inspired me to write my first script, "The Frau Driver." It is a coming-of-age story about a stunt driver who seeks out her father years after he disappears. After three years of writing, I pitched the story to a Hollywood producer who would later take me on as a client to option the script.
What makes screenwriting stand out to you in the language of the cinema?
For me personally, It's been more about voice first and language as more of a tool for the voice.. What do you want your main character and audience to learn together from what they are experiencing? What is the punchline of the thesis or idea that keeps coming around to your characters while on their journey? What do you, as a screenwriter, want to say that can also be relatable to those watching as your pages translate to the big screen? The execution of the thesis, the voice, defines how it will stand out when observed in a cinema.
Do you ever plan to direct and produce one of your scripts?
My long-term goal is to write and direct my feature projects. Ive already done so with several short films ive written and directed. Short films are helpful and essential in developing your writing and directing skills; if you can't handle producing a ten- or 15-minute short, why should you think you are ready to take a feature ? Short films help develop your ability and confidence to execute a vision as a writer and director.
Tell us more about your latest script and the inspiration behind its writing.
My latest script, the Call, is adapted from H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Call of Cthulhu. What inspired me most to write it was the challenge of adapting his materials, which can be profoundly weird and dark, which ive felt is why we have yet to see many feature outings for the author's written work. I had hoped to bring a new twist to the material while remaining faithful to the author's intentions. I like material that challenges us to face ourselves and what we think we know and are capable of doing as human beings. We can only begin to improve ourselves by facing ourselves while sometimes having to face horrible truths in the process. Despite his academic success and professional recognition, Professor Francis Thurston is a man in mourning. Tormented by his beloved Uncle's unusual disappearance, everything changes when a revived journal points to new hope - a thought-to-be fictional island of R'Lyeh—his Uncle's final expedition. Francis sets out, ultimately finding the Island and strandee, scientist Sarah Foster. Together, they unlock its secrets, hoping to escape it through seven daring and emotionally character-driven chapters. Themes of fate vs. free will, the price of curiosity, and Love and sacrifice will be explored in-depth with Francis as the audience's touchstone. Despite its supernatural leanings, this odyssey of human exploration of the unknown will still feel grounded and relatable. My home has always been science fiction and fantasy, even as a child, so when I came across the short story while waiting in a bookstore and had the chance to read it, I was intrigued and began adapting the short story to a screenplay.
What were some of the challenges of writing your script and the research that
went into it?
The most challenging part of writing this script was world-building and writing, at times, original material that remained faithful to the author's pre-existing ideas and notions. It is similar to Peter Jackson's process when encountering roadblocks with Tolkien materials while working on the lord of the Rings films. He would deviate while ensuring those deviations could be naturalized or were extensions of hints or story threads that aren't fully fleshed out within Tolkien's world. For a solid three months, I picked apart all three chapters of the short story for every piece of character, plot, event or devices that could be embedded into the script; always let the source material guide you and take the lead. I did explore outside adaptations, such as games based on the said material, for further inspiration, ideas and clues to what could be useful within the format of a feature film. It's good to explore and see what has been successful or not based on the adapted material in the past.
What would you like to achieve, cinematically, as a writer?
As a writer, my magnum opus is to write and direct a live-action Halo feature film based on the popular video game. Halo was a big part of my childhood, and I can't think of a bigger story to be remembered for to have brought to the big screen.