Speaking through her trademark blonde wig topped with a huge black bow, singer/songwriter Sia showed up at Venice Days, a sidebar of the international film festival, to discuss her work in front of fans.
While covering the usual topics such as why she covers her face, Sia revealed some hints about her new film project Sister, which she’s written and will direct, for her frequent collaborator Maddie Ziegler.
Based on a one-page story she wrote eight years ago, Sia said, “I was too embarrassed to tell anyone I wanted to make a movie, because I thought it would be seen as a vanity project, because I was a singer. … And then last year after I made the ‘Chandelier’ video, I realized that I was pretty good at directing, so I felt a little bit braver.”
Having no past experience, Sia sought help for her first go at screenwriting. “So first I paid a guy from a juice bar to help me write it, who had gone to film school, and it turned out it wasn’t quite right,” she said.
She then turned to another friend, children’s book author Dalles Clayton. “He and I spent three-and-a-half weeks just on the sofa, mapping it out.”
While completely different from her songwriting process, Sia noted that there were similarities. “For me, the process was basically, I work out the movie. I’ll act it out, I’ll have the dialogue already in my head,” she said. “It’s really the formatting. … I can’t be bothered to learn Final Draft. I’m not a technical person. Like, when I sing, I just want to sing the melody and write the lyrics. I don’t want to have to do production, which is very technical. I don’t enjoy that.”
“What I do enjoy is the creative process,” she continued, explaining that Clayton would take their notes, fine-tune them, and bring back the results.
Before finalizing the script, she gave it to five friends for feedback, including comedian Whitney Cummings, actor Joel Edgerton and her husband Erik Anders Lang. “Erik, my husband. gave the best notes actually,” she said.
Lang is currently working on a documentary about the game of golf, Be the Ball, that raised just over $50,000 crowdfunding, out of a goal of $170,000 despite the appearance of multiple A-listers in his plea video. We’re guessing Sia won’t have quite as much trouble financing her film.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.