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Oleg Bazylewicz Dives into the Sci-Fi Abyss: Best Science Fiction Screenplay 'Oroboro Island' Explor

As the cosmic waves of imagination ripple through the realm of science fiction, we sit down with the brilliant mind behind the award-winning screenplay 'Oroboro Island,' Oleg Bazylewicz. Winner of the coveted Best Science Fiction Screenplay, 'Oroboro Island' has captivated audiences with its visionary narrative. In this exclusive interview, Bazylewicz invites us to journey into the depths of his creative universe, unveiling the inspirations, challenges, and intricate threads that weave the tapestry of 'Oroboro Island.'

American Dream Screen : Every screenplay has a unique journey from concept to completion. Can you take us through the moment or experience that ignited the spark for this story, and how it evolved into the screenplay we see today?

Oleg Bazylewicz : I have always been interested in ancient mysteries, indigenous cultures, and languages of the Americas. Nowadays, it is widely accepted that many megalithic monuments of the Andes must have been created with some advanced knowledge and technology we still can not match today. This offers ground to “ancient aliens” and “paleo-contact” theorists, who tend to explain everything they don’t understand with the simple idea that either it was some aliens who visited Earth, or it was a highly advanced civilization that existed in the past - and that they had built it all in pre-historic times.

Science fiction, as a literary and cinematic genre, should address these mysteries, too. Why not assume that paleocontact did take place and that it was the contact our primitive ancestors in the Stone Age had, and not with the “ancient aliens” but with our descendants, the time travelers from our own future? The future that no longer exists?

This brings us to many fascinating sci-fi ideas we have explored in the “Oroboro Island” project - that there is such a thing as the planetary time stream, which is “looped,” and that humankind is trapped in this loop somehow. Perhaps, one day, we will become powerful and knowledgeable enough to screw up everything past retrieve - doesn’t this seem to be the path we have taken, and not once? Isn’t this idea a good one for a good sci-fi screenplay and a novel? So, we wrote both – the screenplay, and the novel.

American Dream Screen : Screenwriting allows for creative exploration. Can you share an instance where the narrative took an unexpected turn during the writing process, and how did this spontaneous development contribute to the depth of your screenplay?

Oleg Bazylewicz : When you start working on a story, it can take on a life of its own, and characters and plot points can emerge organically. At a certain point, your story starts to “talk” to you, pitching ideas all by itself. This is a common experience for many writers. It highlights the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the creative process of storytelling.

There have been many such instances in the “Oroboro Island”. One of the most remarkable ones was the idea that the Yucatan meteor that had nearly destroyed all life on Earth about 65 million years ago was a catastrophe unintentionally set up by the people who had time traveled for some research purposes from the future and then tried to come back “hometime”. “We are the Yucatan meteor,” says one of the key characters in a terrifying moment of realization - how dangerous our attempts to play “omnipotent gods” actually is.

American Dream Screen : Collaboration is integral in bringing a screenplay to life on screen. Could you share a memorable experience of working with a director, producer, or actor, and how their input influenced and enriched the script?

Oleg Bazylewicz : I have only worked with Karen Buckton, my co-writer. I highly value this co-writing collaboration. Some of the best ideas for this quite complicated storyline only emerged because we have been talking about this script and brainstorming possible developments. There are things you simply can not do alone.

American Dream Screen : Dialogue is a powerful tool in screenwriting. How did you craft the distinctive voices of your characters, and can you share a line or moment from your screenplay that you are particularly proud of?

Oleg Bazylewicz : The story focuses on three well-equipped international and multilingual crews sent “backtime” from the 23d century. They are highly educated and trained people from the future, engineers, scientists, and militaries - however, they are still lost in time and not ready to face the facts that don’t fit their advanced but still limited minds. It was not an easy job to write their lines. However, I think we did it good enough.

American Dream Screen : The life of a screenwriter can be filled with highs and lows. Can you describe a moment of doubt or a challenging period during the writing process, and what strategies did you use to overcome these obstacles and keep your creative spirit alive?

Oleg Bazylewicz : Even the highs are loaded with doubts. When you manage to develop a gripping storyline turn, you still doubt whether it will fit the whole thing well. When you win a screenplay contest, you still doubt whether you will option or sell your script within a reasonable scope of time. When your script is taken into production, you question whether the director will effectively handle your material. But I think it is OK. The doubts are an integral part of every creative process.

The trick is to prevent doubt from becoming frustration. Accept your doubts, and try to convert them into a creative resource and not into a problem. If you want to write, learn to live with doubts. Talk to yourself about it, mill it in your mind. It helps.

American Dream Screen : As you look back on your journey as an independent screenplay writer and the creation of this unique script, what do you feel is the most significant lesson or insight you've gained about the art of storytelling and filmmaking that you would like to share with aspiring writers and filmmakers?

Oleg Bazylewicz : If you are an aspiring writer, do not expect your success to come overnight. Everything takes longer than you might have thought, so it is better to focus on the immediate steps you take - but still, keep in mind the more significant objectives. Selling what your wrote is more difficult than writing. Yes, it might be frustrating, and it often is. But it is less discouraging if you accept these difficulties in advance and are psychologically ready to handle them. Remember - after all, a creative idea that stands out is what makes the whole film industry work.

As the final pages of our interview turn, we are left with a profound appreciation for the creative genius that breathes life into sci-fi landscapes. 'Oroboro Island' stands as a beacon of Bazylewicz's narrative prowess, inviting us to explore the boundless realms of imagination.

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