By Tess Malijenovsky
Beaufort, a setting for so many iconic movies in the past, has been waiting for its next film. Local screenwriter, Teresa Bruce, hopes her latest screenplay—a romantic comedy called “The Wedding Photographer” based in Beaufort, SC—will impress the right producer at the Beaufort International Film Festival (BIFF). “I wanted to write a screenplay that could be filmed here,” said Teresa.
“The Wedding Photographer” was inspired one evening walking along Waterfront Park with her husband, photographer Gary Geboy, observing a couple awkwardly and uncomfortably posing for engagement photos. Teresa and her husband thought of their friend photographer, infamous for his cynicism of the South, and how hilarious it would be if he were forced to shoot “Bridezillas” in the Deep South. “It was just a really fun ‘what if’ that launched this idea for the screenplay,” Teresa said.
Seeing Beaufort as somewhat of a destination spot for weddings, Teresa decided to do her research on wedding photography right here in the area. She tagged along as an “assistant” with well-known local wedding photographer Susan DeLoach to learn the ins and outs of the business. While the shoots were invaluable in helping Teresa learn terminology, they were useless in character development. Susan was as polite and graceful as a Southern Bell, whereas Teresa’s protagonist is a very cynical man from Chicago that hates weddings, hates the South, but ends up falling in love.
This will be the third year that Teresa’s screenplays have been accepted in the BIFF. Her first was “Mask of the Innocent,” recently the winner of a Mexican film festival. The second was “The Scarlet Registry” about a man who is wrongly accused of exposing himself to his daughter and ends up on the national registry for sex offender, which was read at Beaufort Film Festival’s first table-read. Teresa is excited to bring a little humor to the crowd (after the wine and cheese reception) with 10 minutes of “The Wedding Photographer.”
This year’s Screenwriters Table Read BIFF event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Finalist screenwriters select 10 minutes of their work for six to seven actors on stage to read aloud and act out. Afterwards, members of the audience, writers themselves, can ask each author questions from what was that characters motivation to what inspired you to write the screenplay.
The best part of setting her screenplay in Beaufort, Teresa says, was working in references to the people and places that make this place so unique; Harold’s Country Club, for example.
Teresa has also done collaborative work with her husband in the photographic book “Transfer of Grace: Images of the Lowcountry,” in which her narrative is sprinkled throughout. “It made me stop and think about why I treasure this place and what it means to me,” Teresea said.
Don’t miss a good time at the USCB Center for the Arts with the wine and cheese reception at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. To find out more about the work of Teresa Bruce, go to her website at www.teresabrucebooks.com or visit her blog: http://teresabrucebooks.wordpress.com.
By Tess Malijenovsky