Big Break Comedy Writer Adi Blotman Lays It Out
Adi Blotman, whose script, Realty Check, won the Final Draft Big Break Comedy/Romantic Comedy category, gets real about writing flawed characters and combining genres.
Adi Blotman is no newcomer to comedy. Originally from Israel, she spent the last decade performing improv, sketch and stand-up at numerous clubs and theaters in New York City. Her winning screenplay, Reality Check, is about a woman who signs up for an experiment where she travels to parallel realities to see what her life would have been like if she had made different choices. As in many comedies, the protagonist’s humor comes from pain.
“She’s a very unhappy person and has a lot of regret. The experiment is designed to help people improve their lives or find happiness, but it doesn’t really work out that way for her. She gets to see a very different version of her life and, at one point, she finds a version of her life that is perfect. She then tries to take her own place in the parallel universe,” said Blotman.
Blotman said the inspiration for the story came from her own fascination with alternate realities. “I’m obsessed with parallel universes and how weird the universe is in general. I’ve always imagined what my life would be like if I made different choices. I’m from Israel, so there’s a parallel universe where I still live there.”
When asked why she thinks her screenplay caught the attention of the judges, she says she thinks it may have come from mashing up two distinct genres that don’t usually go together. “It’s just not very typical. Reality Check deals with something that is both very real but also very fantastic. The whole ‘traveling to a different dimension’ element resonates with a lot of people because everyone deals with regret. We all ask ourselves, ‘what if I made a different choice?’”
Blotman also thinks her protagonist stood out because she’s far from perfect. “I’m very honest about all my female protagonists’ flaws and that resonates with women. You meet her at a very bad time in her life and I don’t try to make her more likable, I’m just trying to make her more relatable. I think a lot of people can see something of themselves in it.”
Blotman also hopes her screenplay does more than evoke laughs. “Movies can really inspire change in people.”
Though Blotman’s thrilled her feature screenplay took the top Big Break prize in it’s category, she admitted her main focus is on television. “I’m a big TV person, I have several pilots that I’m working on. I really want to get staffed on a show or sell a show. I want to be in TV very much.”
In terms of advice for writers entering their scripts in competitions, Blotman said it’s more than just flushing out a clever idea. “It’s about writing something that comes from your heart. This was such a vague idea in the beginning, but I knew that it was important to me. I didn’t think about the budget or who was going to be in it –it was just about wanting to write something that was my point of view and creating a really good sample of what I can do. When you care about something, you write it better. Always write what’s in your heart.”
For more information on The Big Break Screenwriting Contest, click here!
Screenwriter / Film Critic
Shanee Edwards graduated from UCLA Film School with an MFA in Screenwriting and is currently the film critic for SheKnows.com. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her pilot, Ada and the Machine, is currently in development with America Ferrera’s Take Fountain Productions. You can follow her on Twitter: @ShaneeEdwards.