Romi Trower p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. This issue features Romi Trower, the writer-director of What if it Works?. It’s the story of a technical whiz with obsessive compulsive disorder, and a street artist with dissociative identity disorder, and their struggle to form a relationship. It's a tasteful, well-written romantic comedy with no slow spots. Ms Trower also mentions a couple of her favorite books.

“For me, everything starts with character,” said Romi Trower, screenwriter and director of What if it Works?.
Adrian (played by Luke Ford) is an obsessive compulsive computer and engineering whiz who likes driving his car at high speeds through Melbourne at night. He uses his computer skills to deactivate any police detection devices. Grace is a street artist with dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder (Anna Samson). She’s a talented painter with at least one personality sabotaging her relationship with Adrian.
“For me, I’ve always liked walking the tightrope between drama and comedy,” said Romi Trower, writer and director of What if it Works?.
Romi Trower said she liked romantic comedies like Silver Linings Playbook and Lars and the Real Girl.
She followed the dictum: write what you know. “What I know is OCD.”
Romi Trower’s older brother has a severe case of OCD. And her aunt is a psychiatrist who specialises in treating people with dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder. Ms Trower had sat in on therapy sessions and watched personalities switch, she said. She’d talked to patients, too. She said she had been very interested in the condition for years and years. And she’d heard there were sometimes romances between patients.
She started the writing process by scribbling notes, and researching in the area, e.g. she read a lot of books on dissociative identity disorder. She’d “percolate, think, observe”, write a page on the main character, write pages on other characters, a few on the story, then write the script. “So I feel I have a map.”
She said it was now about eight years after she wrote the first word of the story. There were many drafts.
What if it Works? won best Australian indie film award at the Gold Coast Film Festival where it had its Australian premiere. It was one of five independent Australian films at the festival.

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– copyright Simon Sandall.