Interview (Written): James Raue

His movie “Psychoanalysis” was discovered as a script on blcklst.com.

Director of Community at the Black List Kate Hagen interviewed writer-director James Raue. His movie Psychoanalysis gained attention as a script featured on blcklst.com. The movie, available at iTunes, is on the festival circuit where it won the Best Screenplay award at the Manchester International Film Festival.

The Present
How do you find ideas and how do you choose which ones to work on?
I try to come up with contradictory characters that I find both comical and tragic. Then I tend to pick the idea which has the best natural story arc or whichever gets me the most excited about sitting down to write. I love moving between comedy and drama in a single script. I think comedy can break down any barrier the reader has up, and when they’re nice and vulnerable you hit them with the drama.
Walk us through a normal day of writing for you. Any special habits to keep the muse happy?
A normal day of writing for me features a lot of procrastinating and watching movies. Then eventually I’ll sit down with a pen and paper and start writing. If I start with pen and paper it doesn’t feel as permanent, I guess, so it’s easier to get started. After that I copy it to computer.
James Raue
The Future
If you could make one film, with no restrictions in place, what would that film be?
There’s a documentary I really want to make about the world’s worst rapper. His name is Ya Boi Bangz. Check out his song “Take You To Da Movies,” it’s so brilliantly bad. He was made fun of on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON in a section called “Do Not Listen”. Then I met with the guy and discovered he’s a refugee and is just rapping because he loves it and he’s trying to make the most of his life. Yet we all make fun of him without really knowing his story. I also have a suspicion he’s not that bad of a rapper if he raps in his native language. So the idea that we’re making fun of him for rapping in a second language when I barely speak one is crazy. I think there’s a brilliant film there if I could get to the bottom of who this guy is. Something in the vein of WINNEBAGO MAN.
PSYCHOANALYSIS was sort of the film I made with no restrictions in place though. I had the chance to make it as a bigger film if I didn’t direct it myself, but I decide to risk it and make the film on a budget of just $15,000 in order to have complete creative control. I think that’s the thing that most people have responded to with the film. You can tell it was made with complete freedom. If I had the chance to make a film just like that again, but with a solid budget, that would be the dream.

Psychoanalysis is the 7th movie produced from scripts found at blcklst.com.

For the rest of the interview with James, go here.