A Korean-born, American-raised K-pop idol working on the release of her solo debut track in Seoul, struggles with the language and cultural differences while dealing with a crazed stalker who’s dangerously obsessed with her.
Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Jieun: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Minho: Steve Rizzo
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
On the surface, the screenplay is about a young K-pop idol who's in the process of debuting her first track as a solo artist while dealing with a crazed stalker. Underneath the surface, it's really about a girl who's in search of her place in the world.
The title, "Delulu," is a term that the K-pop fan community began using to label people they considered to be delusional for believing that they'd be lucky enough to date or befriend their favorite K-pop idols.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
As a genre of music, K-pop has become a mainstream, global phenomenon that has transcended the borders of Korea. K-pop idols have perfect and glamorous lives in the eyes of the public. This screenplay should be made into a movie because it's fun, thrilling, entertaining, and gives audiences a peek into the less glamorous side of the K-pop industry. It touches upon how the perception of perfection is something that is highly curated and manufactured and also shows that the idols and staff members involved are all flawed human beings like everyone else.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Not sure... Chungking Express? Lost in Translation?
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
In total, about three years.
The initially idea to write a screenplay set in the world of K-pop came to me about three years ago. However, it was more of a fish out of water/coming-of-age kind of story that would have been too close to another script — and now book — that I had written called "Top Model." The title of the book is called "Top Model: Estelle Li and the September Issue" and it follows the journey of a young, Chinese American model whose relentless ambition becomes a dangerous obsession as she struggles to break out in the fashion industry while being consumed by the high price of perfection.
Because I had a feeling that I was going to end up using very similar story elements, I decided to set "Delulu" aside for a couple of years until I could figure out another way to approach the story. I believe it was some time late last year when I decided it was going to be a thriller about a K-pop idol who was trying to find her place in the world while being pursued by a stalker. Then, once I started writing again, it took about two months to finish.
7. How many stories have you written?
Depends on whether we're including shorts films, short stories, books, feature screenplays, etc., but not very many. I wish I was more prolific. Maybe... 7-10?
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Like movies, my favorites tend to change. I'll get obsessed with a song and will listen to it on repeat until I force myself to listen to something else. My top song on Spotify varies each year, but in 2020, it was Naive by Api and Sarah Hemi. In 2021, it was Mmmh by Kai. In 2022, it was Shutdown by Blackpink. This year will probably be Love Maze by BTS. As you can see, there's a bit of a K-pop trend the last three years which is probably what led me to wanting to write something set in that world.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
I think it was an obstacle for me to figure out what the universal theme or element of the story would be. I felt I needed to incorporate something that could resonate with anyone and not just with people who work or have worked in the K-pop industry. I eventually landed on the story being about a girl searching and finding where she belongs.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Recently, I've been enjoying volleyball. Beach volleyball over grass. Haven't played indoor yet, but the pacing of playing on the sand is more suitable for me. It's more tiring though.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
FilmFreeway is a really easy platform to use, so it makes submitting projects to various competitions a very simple process.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I was looking for festivals or competitions that were looking for the kind of stories that fit what I had written. I did some searching and found yours. I was pleasantly surprised by the feedback. I didn't expect to see comments noted all throughout the script. I believe it was about every 5-10 pages that notes were being made. That was very surprising to me because usually the evaluation is a general overview of likes and dislikes or only includes the "what works" and the "needs improvement" sections.