Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Local screenwriter featured in Crescent City Film Festival

Violet Bucaro
Screenwriter and actor Tracy Camp looks at her reflection in a mirror. Camp’s film “Don’t” was featured in Loyola’s Crescent City Film Festival on April 19-21, 2024.

Tracy Camp is a local screenwriter and actor in New Orleans. Her short film “Don’t” was screened at Loyola’s student-run film festival.

“I felt honored to be selected out of all the international submissions. Being picked felt very validating to me, no one had ever seen it,” Camp said.

The director of “Don’t” had originally come to her with a draft of a script he made. She read it and she rewrote it. She wanted the movie to speak to women everywhere who feel the deep effects of the patriarchy. She said the end results had carried that vision out.

She believed the story was pointed towards the “male gaze” in its infancy, but she believed it was truly for women. She completely flipped it on its head and made it her own, she said.

Her writing strives to “turn the male gaze into the female glare.” She wants to highlight “the quiet rage of a woman.”

Without it being the initial intention, her writing ends up exploring patriarchal and feminist concepts. She explores how women can blossom without men’s influence, she said.

“I tend to explore relational trauma and tie it to a place, a house, an apartment building, and make it a trauma, haunted house story,” she said. “Because our homes are so deeply tied to our sense of safety and comfort, and trauma is the opposite, so making safety into a dangerous place is the personification of trauma.”

Along with exploring trauma through her work, she expressed that she uses humor as a tool to further deepen the narrative.

“I add all the human experiences into a script,” she said.

Even though her writing illuminates the darkest moments of life, humor is the skeleton.

“I want to subvert expectations– always. I want the audience to think they know where the story is going, and then make them gasp.”

She said she has a room in her house dedicated to writing, with a board on the wall where she posts her ideas on notecards and rearranges them into a story.

“I figure out the whole story before I write anything,” Camp said

She was recently accepted to Chateau Dé Orquevaux artist residency in the champagne region of France. The residency brings a hand selected group of artists internationally to create at the chateau.

“I get to go to a beautiful chateau with chef-prepared meals every day just because people think my talent is worthy,” she said.

Her current project is a feature script entitled, “Kill Your Darlings.” It is a genre bending tale of two estranged sisters who reconnect after their mothers death, she said. Things go awry after they go on vacation for a weekend, she said.

Writing scripts is a vehicle to spread her story, she said.

“I have to be grandiose and use my most traumatic experiences in my writing…. I am heavily inspired by my life and the lives of those I love the most. I keep a notebook with me, and write down my observations. I love to steal,” Camp said.

Ever since she was 10, she’s always written dark comedies, which she said came from laughing at her own personal pain and using that as a coping mechanism. Writing makes her feel more connected to her childhood and her late father.

“I feel extremely selfish in my art. I will use anything I want to create my masterpiece. Nothing is off limits. I want it to be ‘too much,’” she said.

She hopes by processing her own trauma through her writing, others will be able to do the same– with laughter.

Camp said, “I want to heal together.”

She wants to shine a light on her own pain to make it disappear.

“I write to live life twice,” she said.

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    BellaMay 4, 2024 at 4:45 pm

    Live, love, laugh, Tracy