She Flies With Her Own Wings

Haley Isleib, 2012 FiLMLaB winner

Haley Isleib, 2012 FiLMLaB winner, and winner of the 2013 OIFF Best Comedic Short

The question I get most about Alis Volat Propriis, the FiLMLaB/Ampersand production directed by Christopher Alley, is how the finished film compares to the script I wrote. If you scroll down in this blog and read the post by 2013 winner Barbara Thomas, you know the FiLMLaB Script-to-Screen process is, like any good collaboration, not about finding only that which you expected to see.

What is a screenplay? A screenplay is a part of a conversation about what a hypothetical film might be like. Of course, you want to uphold your part of the conversation by writing/rewriting/re-rewriting the best possible script.

The script I turned in was five pages long. The film is considerably longer than the five minutes I might have expected. It’s also moody and almost meditative at times. The script, not so much. When they showed the rough cut at the 2012 Willamette Writers Conference, someone in the audience asked how I had conveyed the long silent introduction in the script.

Simple: I didn’t. Those decisions were made by the director, the editor, the producers.


Alis Poster 1

Alis Volat Propriis

The other question I get is “What’s up with the title?” It’s the official motto of the State of Oregon. It means “She Flies With Her Own Wings.” Which in the case of this film, turns out to be true. Come see Alis Volat Propriis at the Oregon Independent Film Festival this Saturday, September 21st at the Clinton Street Theater.  Tickets are still available for the 5:30 premier and the Awards Ceremony that follows.

FiLMLaB will be doing this awesome Script-to-Screen contest again next year. I loved the whole FiLMLaB experience, and I’m betting you will too. Check back in January for details.


Haley Isleib is a writer & filmmaker in Portland, Oregon. Her short  script Alis Volat Propriis won the 2012 FiLMLaB contest, and more recently Best Comedic Short at the 2013 Oregon Independent Film Festival. Catch up with her at, find her on Facebook and @haleyisleib on Twitter.