Q&A with Sarah Koskoff, Staples Alum and Film Writer

Staples alum Sarah Koskoff has written a film called Hello I Must Be Going. The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Festival, and was a hit.

Q:  What made you switch from play writing to film writing?

A: I had gotten to the end of what I felt I could accomplish as a playwright in Los Angeles, and my husband is a film director. So I decided to write a screenplay.

Q: What was your reasoning for filming Hello I Must Be Going in Westport?

A: I wrote Hello I Must Be Going specifically to shoot in Westport and for my husband to direct.  I wanted to be very involved in the process.  I knew if we made the film in Westport, we could get a lot of local help and keep it under our control.

Q:Did your experiences in Westport contribute to the script?

A: Yes, definitely.  The main character in Hello I Must Be Going is in her mid-thirties, but she’s regressing — she’s behaving like a teenager.  I called on my memories from high school: of going to the beach and sitting in the car a lot, sneaking out, and being incredibly bored!

Q:Have you known that you wanted to write for plays/movies since you were in high school?

A: I was always writing, but when I was in high school I really wanted to be an actor.  Writing was always something I did on my own.  I imagined I would write novels someday.  But the thing I really loved about acting was the language, being able to bring great writing to life.  When I started working as an actor in film and television, I found there wasn’t a lot of great language!  So writing moved into the foreground for me.

Q:If so did you take any classes at Staples that helped you learn more and prepare for this career?

A: I was in a lot of plays at Staples, and it was very helpful.  I really learned a lot about dramatic writing from my experience as a performer.  I also learned how to write dialogue — I still say all my dialogue out loud to make sure it sounds authentic.

Q:Did any teachers at Staples or clubs/programs spark this interest in writing for you?

A: I remember loving my classes with Peter Bennett, Joe Ball and Gerry Kuroghlian.  Joe Ball actually took me and my best friend on a walk one day when we were stressing out about school.  He basically said, don’t worry about any of this!  None of it matters!  It was pretty great.  High School can seem so overwhelming when you’re in it, but it’s really just this tiny part of your life.  There were great teachers at Staples who helped me gain this kind of perspective at really pivotal moments.  I’m really grateful to them.

Q:Do you have any projects coming up in the future?

Yes, I have quite a few scripts I’m working on.  I really hope to be shooting another film within the next year!