Diana Frances is a Vancouver born comedy writer, improviser, producer and recent alumni of the CFC Primetime Writer’s Program. Diana’s first feature film, The Offer is in production with Without a Flock and she has also produced the award-winning short films The Valet and Good Times Volume 2. On the TV side of things, Diana has written for Corner Gas, the Animated Series, The Beaverton, Still Standing, 22 Minutes and The Hour with George Strouwmboulopoulos. As an improviser, Diana has been nominated for 8 Canadian Comedy Awards for Best Female Improviser (no wins!) and has entertained Canadian soldiers in Bosnia, Egypt and Israel.
Has a modern film impacted you lately? If so, what film, and how?
Just watched Hell or High Water and loved how much was said by saying nothing. Such great storytelling in the background details. I’m always so grateful when the film doesn’t bash me over the head with information. Yeah, a guy can walk into a house and I can tell that’s his ex just by the way they look at each other. I don’t need the dialogue to treat me like I’m an idiot. (Diana goes back to her feature film and removes 99% of the dialogue.)
Give us the elevator pitch for your first film and a note you would give it.
A desperate husband manipulates a delay in signing divorce papers with his aloof wife in order to win her back, but it backfires when they have too spend their last weekend together pretending to be a perfect couple in order to convince an actual perfect couple to make an offer on their house.
A note I would give my first film? Don’t get precious with the first draft. Or the second. Or anything.
What lesson did you learn from your first moments as a writer?
One of the first things I wrote in my early career won top honours at the New York Radio Awards. I quickly learned that not everything I was going to write was going to come with a trophy.
What’s great about making films in Canada?
I love that with enough hutzpah and drive (is that the same thing?) you can just go out and make shit in this country. Sure, maybe no one will see it, but we have access to funds that specifically help Canadian filmmakers take the next step in their careers. And when Telefilm turns you down, there’s always Go Fund Me.
What Canadian film inspires you?
My new favourite is Spirit Unforgettable. I am a huge Spirit of the West fan and that documentary makes me ugly cry while hoping that I too would continue to do what I love and what makes people happy even if a shit disease was robbing me of my ability to do it. Oh no. Here comes the tears.
What do you love about the art of filmmaking and why?
I love that at any age, anyone can pick up a camera and just go shoot something. I love that technology has made it easier for anyone to explore their creativity and make art.