Interview with Screenwriters Vicki Cargill, Adam Cargill (STEVE & OLIVIA)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Adam : The story is about what really makes a family. Two long-lost siblings are reunited when they are both at their lowest and find a connection they’ve never experienced before.

Vicki : It’s about finding roots and discovering your own definition of family. It’s about watching two middle-aged people who are already meant to know this, try to discover what family means to them, and how it’s very different from what society expects.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Adam : It’s a comedy with dramatic elements, strictly speaking. Really I think it’s counterprogramming for the MCU!

Vicki : It’s a pretty dark comedy, with a bunch of drama thrown in.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Adam : Steve and Olivia is a funny, sad, life-affirming, heartbreaking story. It tells a universal tale of redemption, acceptance and letting go. It’s a story I think people can connect with.

Vicki : It’s a story that has tremendous heart and a fierce humanity, which is something that can lacking in many big-budget action epics. The connections we all have are in our flaws, and these characters have a bunch of them on display. And I just want to see it, to be honest.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Adam : Love. Family.

Vicki : Finally written. Still polishing. Award Winning!

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Adam : The Princess Bride.

Vicki : Withnail and I. Possibly Frozen given that we have young kids.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Adam : Since 2017.

Vicki : It was written in 2017, but it came about quickly once we began.

7. How many stories have you written?

Adam : Too many! We’ve completed about 7 feature scripts and our newest is in development with the British Film Institute.

Vicki : I have no idea. Don’t know when it started, or if it will ever end. It’s fun finding out, though.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Adam : At the moment, Hallelujah I Love Her So by Ray Charles – it was kind of the spirit of this screenplay.

Vicki : I’ll Be Seeing You, by Sarah Vaughan.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Adam : The characters were always there, but finding the spine of the story while allowing them the space to grow was a challenge. We knew the beginning, we knew the end, but as usual with us, Act II was a little trickier. But we got there eventually, I think.

Vicki : We always tend to write with a strong start and a good ending. We tend to have a midpoint lull trying to get them connected, and we lost a lot of sleep figuring it out.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Adam : Reading, art, family, food. All the good stuff!

Vicki : Our kids. Art. Music. Creativity. Food. Friends. Being in nature. All the good things in life, the stuff that makes you get up and get out.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Adam : It’s been a real boon for us – it’s easy to use, easy to update, and has really helped us increase our visibility and profile.

Vicki : It’s been pretty seamless, really.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

Adam : We loved the idea of a festival that might actually table read the screenplay – and we were fortunate enough to have it happen! The feedback was very valuable – both with format and structure. Overall, we’ve been blown away by the level of support and promotion we have received.

Vicki : The feedback we received sent us over the moon! It was such a shot of positivity. Thanks!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

When his grand comeback falls flat, a Broadway legend finds himself out of favour and out of luck. Finding the sister he never knew he had leads him on a journey of separation, hope and redemption that answers the question: what is a family?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Shawn Devlin
Steve: Colin Sandquist
Jonathan: Neil Bennett

***

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Interview with Poet Stephon Void (BOOTS)

1) What is the theme of your poem?

The poem is about systemic racism in the United States.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

People need to understand that people of color want to be successful but there hundreds of years of laws and policies that are in place that prohibits them from be successful. That’s what motivated me to write this. We want to pull ourselves by our own boot straps but we need the resources to have our own boots.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing for about three years.
4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

President Obama.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I just wanted to draw more attention to my blog and share my thoughts with the world.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I write poems and devotional son my blog “Stephon’s Thoughts@ at http://www.stephoncvoid.com

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion for life is helping others and sharing the love of God throughout my daily living.

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Interview with Poet K. Exum (ASPIRATION)

1) What is the theme of your poem?

To beat the odds and expose the corruption displayed through our daily lives.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

I wanted to use my voice to speak on a serious topic about police.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

3 years

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Martin Luther King Jr.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I just wanted to give it a try. Just to explore really.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes I write stories, speeches, and quotes. All are displayed on my blog, http://www.piecesofkblog.com

7) What is your passion in life?

Writing is my passion.

Watch the POETRY Reading: 

Interview with Screenwriter Patrick Langille (BEYOND THEIR YEARS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Patrick Langille: A young wannabe writer with no motivation in his life discovers he is being targeted by people believing him to be a reincarnation of a famous author that rubbed some the wrong way. He has to answer for a crime he doesn’t believe he committed in a life he believes he never lived.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy, drama with some fantasy elements.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I don’t think there are many revenge movies that involve reincarnation at least to this extent and it could be a lot of fun to have a movie as absurd as it is for people to see.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Artistic Obsession

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Hot Fuzz was probably the most I watched in high school. It also helped me learn more about story and writing.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About a year.

7. How many stories have you written?

In scripts including shorts and full length, 20 or so.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

That’s a tough one. Not exactly a favorite but when one of my sisters was obsessed with the movie Night at the Roxbury she would make me recreate the head bopping in the car to the song What is Love by Haddaway.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The flashback scenes. I needed to show the relationships these characters had and how they grew to be enemies. Their friendship had to be believable and that was tricky to do.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Very much filmmaking and photography.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

For the most part it has been the easiest way submitting to festivals. I don’t recall any issues with payment and delivery.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

When a story only fits in one particular genre or multiple genres it can be difficult for some festivals to judge so I’m glad festivals like this exist to give scripts that might get passed on by other festivals a chance. The feedback was very helpful and showed that I had improved from previous scripts I have tried writing.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Joshua, a high school senior is in danger of not graduating, must complete an assignment on a historical figure. While doing so he meets a mysterious girl claiming to be his wife from a past life; the wife of the historical figure he’s researching. To make things stranger his little school project seems to have attracted other oddballs believing him to be a reincarnation and wanting revenge for his past misdeeds.

CAST LIST:

Roger: Neil Bennett
Narration: Melie B Rondeau
Joshua: Colin Sandquist
Mr. Sinclair: Shawn Devlin

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

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Interview with Screenwriter Nick Perlman (A PORTRAIT)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Nick Perlman: A Portrait is about, Ian, a reclusive artist working at a plant nursery who struggles to find inspiration and Joseph who is a drifter searching for his estranged mother. When Joseph shows up at Ian’s door, both of their lives are irrevocably changed.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romance, Drama, Queer Cinema

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

We need more films featuring queer characters whose stories don’t solely revolve around their queerness, and who don’t fall into stereotyped tropes. With this film, I hope to do just that: tell a universal story about finding love and acceptance from a queer perspective without having the entire story hinge on their queerness while illustrating their three-dimensionality.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

“You matter.”

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The initial pass was about a month long process but subsequent rewrites and fine-tuning have taken about a year.

7. How many stories have you written?

This is my third complete feature, but I’ve written and am writing numerous others which are at various stages of development.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

This is an enormously difficult question. So I’ll tell you what I’ve been listening to while writing this story: All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun – Elizabeth Fraser and Jeff Buckley, Moon River – Frank Ocean, The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – The Walker Brothers, and The Exhibition – Kaki King

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

For me, it’s been knowing when to stop! Recieving feedback has allowed the story to grow in so many ways but the further in I get the less changes are needed – which should be a signal that it’s nearing completion. At this point I keep looking for things to “fix” but have to acknowledge that at this point, the story is what what it is and ask myself the important question of: “Did I succeed in my intent?” and “Is this the story?”

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’ve played music since a young age, but much more relavantly, like the character of Ian, I also paint and draw, myself. It’s a world I’m very intimately familiar with.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

It’s been great! Easy to submit, make changes, and communicate with festivals!

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I was absolutely touched by the initial feedback. The reader seemed to have a very personal connection with the material which is why I do what I do! 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Ian is a reclusive artist working at a plant nursery and struggling to find inspiration. Joseph is a drifter searching for his estranged mother. When Joseph shows up at Ian’s door, both of their lives are irrevocably changed.

CAST LIST:

Joseph: Neil Bennett
Narrator: Shawn Devlin
Elizabeth: Carina Cojeen
Ian: Colin Sandquist

Submit via FilmFreeway:

Interview with Filmmaker Andre Sitolini (THE COOK AND THE CHEF)

THE COOK AND THE CHEF played to rave reviews at the March 2019 Comedy & Drama Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Andre Sitolini : I wanted to make something very stylistic. I wanted clouds grounded to the horizon and the sky to never be blue.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

About 5 months of intensive work. The intro alone was a month of work.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Sizzling Hot!

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Having to decide which scenes to cut and which scenes to keep in.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Overjoyed! I’m glad everyone liked it!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I actually wanted to tell a different message. It was going to be about having more than just passion to be good at something.

Originally the Cook was suppose to lose and learn about not judging the Chef for his apathetic appearance.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

It’s rare that I’ll watch a film more than once but anything incredibly stylistic and colorful is always something I keep coming back to.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It was really great having to make only one portfolio and submitting to multiple festivals. I’m not really the producer type so it help me get into more festivals then I would have bothered.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha is my favorite album of all time, but for the entire production of my film I limited myself to only listen to songs with an accordion in it.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I became an animator to create an animated series about Superheroes, but now I want to adopt it into a comic format!

Interview with Filmmaker Filippo Michele Guarna (MISTER EGG)

MISTER EGG was the winner of BEST FILM at the March 2019 Comedy & Drama Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Filippo Michele Guarna: It was a period of intense philosophical ‘restlessness’ for me; self-inquisition, confusion and doubt – the kind of thoughts that start bugging you when you’re approaching your twenties, I guess. Such a ride can be heavy, so I decided to take it the light way, underlining through comedy the absurdity of existence. Humor really is a superpower, it can change one’s perspective in fascinating ways and peculiarly gifts human life with hale dignity.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took about ten days: I had to deliver a short film to film school, and I was running out of time.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

This sounds like looking for a title: ‘philosophical egg’.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Editing the face of Akuzike Mauluka (Mister Egg) onto the egg forced my to push the boundaries of my basic VFX skills a little further. But the hardest part was probably acknowledging the value of my work while it was coming to life in the final phase of editing; I am very critical of my works, especially when I just finished them. I seem to notice more their weaknesses than their strengths, and with ‘Mister Egg’ that was the case: only various precious external points of view helped me shedding a light on its virtues too. A process which furtherly unfolded through watching the audience feedback video.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Some kind of alienation, it seemed surreal to me that they were talking, from a theatre on the other side of the world, about my film on a talking egg. It was an enlightening experience somehow, it was the first time I heard about Mister Egg from someone I don’t personally know. My interior voice reacted something like this: ‘Who are you, ladies and gents? What do you want from me? Why are you saying nice things about my short film I made in my kitchen a couple of misty winters ago? Well, thank you kind strangers!’. I also had a laugh when Paolo Valenti (Paul) was compared to Jon Snow – this often happens with him.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

As I previously mentioned, I had to submit a short film to film school. I was lacking an idea which would satisfy me, and time was running short. I was standing in the kitchen, around midnight, scratching my beardless chin in pursuit of inspiration. Then I looked at the frying pan, love-heartedly thinking about how I ate an egg everyday for breakfast, and not-so-love-heartedly realising how this would have raised my cholesterol levels very quickly. Cholesterol apart, I imagined a philosophical conversation between an ordinary guy and his breakfast’s egg, and was fascinated by such egg’s hypothetical perspective. An interaction which offered me new dialogic ‘toys’ to play with.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I can’t compare it to past tools of submission, since this was my first experience with festivals. However, I don’t think it can get simpler than that, and this is positive. Upload your work, look for festivals, send it through: it goes straight to the point.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Lately I’ve been writing quite a few short scripts. To be honest, quite a lot short scripts. Too many of them, indeed. By focusing on one of them, in the next months I will dedicate myself to making it come to life. Unfortunately, I lost the habit of eating eggs for breakfast. My cholesterol levels are OK, but I’ll have to seek inspiration elsewhere!