Interview with Screenwriter James Zeankowski (MIND FORCE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

James Zeankowski: Detective Robby Banks, in possession of a supernatural gift of self hypnotic telepathy, uses said gift to find missing persons and their captors.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Supernatural Crime Drama for Television

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

Two elements that the public enjoys: The Supernatural and crime suspense.

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

Truly mesmerizing.

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

There are so many to name. I have very eclectic tastes in this regard. All kinds of genres.

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

A few months. Altogether, I have spent nearly 5 years writing scripts.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve completed a total of 4, including Mind Force. One story I had to chuck because of too many rewrites and never getting any traction going on it.

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

Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You? by Stevie Nicks. My musical muse and metaphorical fairy godmother.

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

With all of my scripts, writing them has been the easy part. Getting them marketed correctly and breaking out to get any of them green lit by Hollywood is the biggest obstacle. Trying to find ways to get through the red tape.

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

All things sports, entertainment, and politics/current affairs. I’m a journalism student by trade, so I tend to be a bit of a news junkie. If it’s trending, I’m usually one of the first to know about it.

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

This is my first time with it, and I’m hoping it helps in getting me discovered.

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

I am a tad constructively critical of those doing the reading. However, I’m not a picky individual, so we’ll see if it leads to more.
 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Detective Robby Banks uses his self hypnotic telepathy powers to find missing persons and their captors.

CAST LIST:

Chief Mackenzie – 5 – PETER NELSON
Cop – 3 – KYANA TERESA
Narration – PAOLA SCATTOLON
Robby – 22 – NICK DOLAN
Marty – 21 – ADRIAN CARLOS CARTER

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

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Interview with Screenwriter Alan Rosenfeld (Jonny Quest: The Terror of Dr. Zin)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Alan Rosenfeld: Jonny Quest: The terror of Dr. Zin – is a story of a courageous young man who’s painful past reemerges to threaten he and his family. A madman with deep ties to his past must be outwitted to avert a disaster and heal deep family wounds.

At its heart, it’s about adventure, family, loyalty, and personal healing.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action and Adventure with a little Science Fiction thrown in.

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

I believe it would begin a fresh dialogue about a softer approach to the action genre. It will bring fresh hearts and minds to the intrigue and adventures of a young man embarking on a life guided by strong mores.

JONNY QUEST: THE TERROR OF DR. ZIN introduces a new generation to strong family ties, an acceptance of other cultures, and a willingness to learn and explore while outwitting his old adversary, Dr. Zin.

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

Thrilling and engaging.

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

Casablanca.

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

As a fan of the original work, I’ve always wanted to see the excitement brought to the big screen. I started playing with ideas for the script a few years ago. I wrote the first draft in about a month. I wrote the second draft in a weekend.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written a feature animation treatment, JOURNEY OF THE VOYAGERS. It’s a feature animation that takes place inside the Voyager I spaceship.

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

“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves

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

I’m dyslexic.

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

My day-job keeps me busy as a VFX Lighting Artist which I have been doing for over thirty years now. I still love to get to work and make synthetic reality with pixels every day.

I also am a great home baker and make killer cheesecakes.

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

Excellent! What a great on ramp of opportunities they have afforded us. Brilliant!

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

I needed a starting point to kick off this adaptation. A gauge on not only my ability to write a complete script but also on how other fans would take to seeing one of their childhood icons come to life again. There are many voices when it comes to writing a story such as Jonny Quest. The invaluable feedback from the festival helps me understand what other see in the story and help guide me as a young writing artist and bring the story to life.
 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Logline: “When a madman attempts to destroy Apollo 11, a courageous clever young man and his family must outwit their old nemesis to save the rocket and heal family wounds”.

CAST LIST:

Dr. Zin – 5 – ADRIAN CARLOS CARTER
Dr. Quest – 4 – PETER NELSON
Narration – PAOLA SCATTOLON
Jade – 5 – KYANA TERESA
Hadji – 5 – NICK DOLAN

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

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Interview with Screenwriter Elizabeth Shum (THE GOLDBERGS TV Spec Screenplay)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Spec screenplay of THE GOLDBERGS TV Show about?

Elizabeth Shum: Beverly uses a Caboodle to transform Barry into “Bowie”, who sings-off against Erica to win Lainey’s extra Guns N’ Roses ticket – becoming “The Labyrinth” muse Adam needs to remove his writer’s block.

2. How does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

It’s a comedy that hits all the familiar notes of the show like family comedy, emotional moments, hilarious archetypes, and the 80s era so many of us love.

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

Nostalgic comedy.

4. What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

Game of Thrones is one of my favorite shows. It would have been easier to pick my top ten favorites because I watch far too much television.

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

It took me one week to write the spec.

6. How many stories have you written?

Eight, but I have a list of plots and outlines as long as my arm. I have so many ideas that it’s hard to choose which one to write next.

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

)I don’t have a favorite. I probably listen to theme songs or musical scores than anything else because I watch so much Film and TV.

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

None. I had to write it quickly for a deadline, but it came pretty easily to me because I’ve seen several funny but heartwarming Goldberg episodes.

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

Food, producing, art, and traveling.

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

I’m happy to have been chosen as one of the winners. The table read is such an outstanding prize because it allows us a peek into what it would be like if someone made the show. Personally, I care more about seeing my stories come to life on screen than I do about anything else.

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

I love FilmFreeway because it’s so easy to send your work out and track upcoming festivals. It’s like Project Management for screenwriting festivals.

12. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Submit to festivals and get as much feedback as you can. Then rewrite, rinse, and repeat. The rewrite is key for most scripts, although, it does depend on the genre and length. I found it much easier to write a spec than a pilot because you don’t have to create the world and find a way to introduce the characters. That’s why my spec only took a week. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer writing pilots, but they do require more rewrites than spec scripts. Having a show bible really helps me to develop my characters on a deeper level prior to writing pilots.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Beverly uses a Caboodle to glamourize Barry into “Bowie”, who sings against Erica to win Lainey’s extra Guns N’ Roses ticket – becoming “The Labyrinth” muse Adam needs to remove his writer’s block.

CAST LIST:

Erica – 30 – KATELYN VARADI
Murray – 22 – PETER NELSON
Beverly – 70 – PAOLA SCATTOLON
Narration – Sean Ballantyne
Barry – 64 – NICK DOLAN
Adam – 43 – ADRIAN CARLOS CARTER
Lainey – 32 – KYANA TERESA

Submit your TV Show/Pilot via FilmFreeway:

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Interview with Screenwriter Mark-Curtis Dunn (BOUDOIR CELL)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Mark-Curtis Dunn: BOUDOIR CELL is about an analyst for the US National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, MD, who becomes compromised by Russian agents and is turned to perform espionage against NSA to uncover super-secret technology that the foreign power desires.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Genre is spy thriller.

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

I believe the story will entertain and educate the audience about the inner workings and mission of NSA and the threats to national security that the agency defends against

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

Sexy thriller.

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

A Christmas Carol.

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

Two years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Dozens.

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

My Favorite Things from Sound of Music.

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

Making time to write. I have a day job, a family and a household.

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

Maintaining a fair perspective on current affairs amid all the pressures and distortions that go on is a passion of mine.

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

Someone offered me a gratis entry of my logline into the Wildsound Festival. I took advantage of that and was awarded Best Logline for October or November. Then you invited me to submit a best scene for a discounted price. I’m always skeptical of the hype from a many of these script services, but I don’t turn down praise.

 

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Logline: When a team of crack Russian agents seduce an analyst at the NSA to reveal a super-secret intel program, it falls to the Director to hunt down the mole before the loss of critical technology.

CAST LIST:

Crandall – 4 – PETER NELSON
Narration – PAOLA SCATTOLON
Daniel – 7 – ADRIAN CARLOS CARTER
Lana – 5 – KYANA TERESA

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

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Interview with Screenwriter Mona Fuller (SALACIOUS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Mona Fuller: The screenplay “Salacious” is about a straight-laced language professor, who finds spontaneity in the arms of a younger woman who happens to be a sex worker!

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romance, Drama.

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

This script is a relatable and entertaining subject that many will enjoy.

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

Erotic Thriller!

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

The Wizard of Oz.

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

I have been working at and tweaking “Salacious” for two years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written three stories/screenplays that have gained minimal amounts of recognition.

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

One song that I have listened to the most times in my life is George Benson’s “Nothing’s gonna change my love for you.” It was released the year of my birth!

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

Timing and avoiding writer’s block are some of the obstacle that I faced while finishing “Salacious.”

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

Foreign language learning for cultural purposes. I’d like to speak multiple languages fluently.

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

My experiences have been fair, the submission platform is easily accessible and up-to-date with film and writing opportunities.

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

I was influenced to enter the festival because Wildsound works hard to create content and opportunities for writers with well written screenplays. I trust the feed back received because it was accurate, honest, and encouraging.

 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Logline: When his wife leaves him for a period of separation, a predictable and set-in-his-ways professor finds spontaneity in the arms of a young prostitute but must decide what’s most important to him.

CAST LIST:

Madame Leide – 9 – PAOLA SCATTOLON
Narration – PETER NELSON
Brad – 21 – ADRIAN CARLOS CARTER
Canela – 18 – KATELYN VARADI

FilmFreeway exclusive Festival:

Interview with Screenwriter Steven Prowse (THE NIGHT WITCHES)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Steven Prowse: It’s a straight-forward action movie about a group of fearless pilots who would do anything to defend their country. There is no overlay of a love or family subplot, just an old-fashioned set-up-the-group-and-deliver war movie similar to The Dirty Dozen.

They just happened to be women.

Did anyone ever ask Lee Marvin if he was married or missed his kids? No, because it had nothing to do with the story and this aspect of his life.

WHO WERE THE NIGHT WITCHES?

They were a Soviet all-women night-bomber unit set up in WW2 by Marina Raskova, one of a group of three women to be the first women awarded Hero Of The Soviet Union. It took some time as initially only men were allowed at the front, but she leveraged her star status in the country (think Amelia Earhart x Greta Garbo) to make it happen.

Most of the women were aged between 17 and 25 who were desperate for revenge for lost ones. Some qualified women pilots had even stolen fighter planes earlier and flown them to the front in frustration.

With wood and canvas biplanes, no radio, no lights, no defenses and no parachutes, just bombs, these pilots terrorized the German front line night after night, up to eighteen sorties in one night.

The Germans called them the ‘night witches’ because when the pilot cut their engines to glide to the target, all that could be heard was an eerie whistling noise from the biplanes’ bracing wires.

The Night Witches became so successful that any German shooting one down was awarded an Iron Cross. In the end they made over 20,000 sorties, produced over 20 Heroes Of The Soviet Union (the average for a regiment was 2), and reached the outskirts of Berlin itself.

Marina Raskova, who had been training a group of heavy bombers, finally flew to the front line in Jan 1943. Her plane crashed in heavy snow with no survivors. She was given the first State Funeral of the war and her ashes were buried in the wall of the Kremlin.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

WW2, Action, Women, True story.

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

If one were to Google the top ten true stories that should be made into a movie, The Night Witches is regularly in them.

Frozen, The Hunger Games and Wonder Woman have shown that women action leads can dominate the box office, but one is a fairy tale and the other two are Sci-Fi. The Night Witches actually happened.

The fact that it has now won over 25 screenplay competitions that freckle the internet, more than any other out there, is another indicator.

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

Effing awesome. But that’s not my doing, it’s what these women did.


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

Either Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves or The Little Mermaid. I had young twins at the time and every Sunday morning for a LONG time I would give their mother a breather and take them to the cinema. They were obsessed with both films. Even though they are in their 30s now I have no doubt they could still recite both word perfect.

Sans twins, Diamonds Are Forever. It was the first Bond movie I’d ever seen and the first I went to the cinema alone. I had so much adrenaline at the end I ran the three miles home.

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

Two months research and planning, one month writing the first draft, and four years on and (mostly off) redrafting.

7. How many stories have you written?

Four others. A Sci Fi parody in the style of Mel Brooks (basically a love letter to Hollywood), an FBI procedural / political thriller, a Medieval horror story, and a micro-budget family movie with child leads. Each has won at least one screenwriting competition, and between them have been officially selected on over 75 occasions.

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

Instant Replay (12″ version) by Dan Hartman. I always have been, and always will be, a disco boy.

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

Finishing the first draft was easy. To be honest there was so much great material in real life I felt more like an editor than a screenwriter. The next two versions were harder as I tried to give each member of the ensemble cast distinct voices and personalities.

But after that it’s just been frustration. Yes, I’m one of the very lucky ones who’s had their screenplay optioned, funded and now looking for cast and crew, but I still haven’t found an agent or manager.

It’s got to the point I haven’t written anything in over three years (apart from rewrites for this screenplay). I’ve no energy anymore. Not writer’s block, just no energy, no passion, no engagement. Hopefully that will change if and when the movie is made.

It’s also been frustrating for the 1,500 people following and wonderfully supporting the project (www.thenightwitchesmovie.com), which is why I came to you to give them something in return in the meantime.

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

My wife, mathematics, and Sunday roast. The other ones? There’s no way you’d print them.

 

 

 

 

Watch the Best Scene Reading: 

With wood and canvas biplanes, no radio, no lights, no defenses and no parachutes, just bombs, these WW2 Soviet pilots terrorized the German front line night after night. They just happened to be women. A true story.

CAST LIST:

Nadya: Rachel Salsberg

Alexander: Rhys Harrison

Narrator: Sean Ballantyne

Zhukov: Jarrod Terrill

Marina: Nancy Kenny

 

Writer Biography – Steven John Prowse

Steve

Steven Prowse, British, has lived in England, Netherlands, Curaçao, USA and Gibraltar. Educated at Cambridge (scholarship), he is a CFO by trade and so one might think he has a lot of experience of writing fiction. He has also been an international bridge player.

His screenplays have received over 120 Officially Selections with 25 wins. One screenplay is optioned by a Hollywood studio in a mid six-figure deal.

Writer Statement

 

The screenplay has already won over 20 screenplay competitions.