Interview with Winning Screenwriter Katie Grotzinger (SCOOBY-DOO: AGE OF AQUARIUS)

1. What is your fan fiction TV PILOT screenplay about?

On the night before summer vacation, Fred’s dad is murdered by a serial killer. As Fred’s reeling from loss, Daphne, a cheerleader and lifelong mystery geek, enlists her estranged best friend Velma and Fred’s own cowardly stoner best friend Shaggy to track down the killer. The four of them, with Scooby-Doo in tow, work to unravel various mysteries, deal with bullying, and experience first love.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Mystery and CW-style teen drama

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

What initially inspired this whole thing was an observation I had after years of consuming Scooby-Doo in various forms. I have never seen a scene in any of the television shows, books, comics, or the animated or live-action films where I believed Shaggy and Fred were friends. Not one. This is despite the fact that the two of them were inspired by best friend Dobie and Maynard from “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”. At its emotional core, I wanted to create a series that would eventually touch on the unique relationships between each of the members of Mystery Inc. because high school is such a vulnerable time when some kids feel like they live or die by those relationships and I had a special interest in exploring what a Fred and Shaggy friendship would look like.

Aside from that, I think now is a great time for a live-action Scooby-Doo television series as the success of Riverdale and the upcoming Sabrina the Teenage Witch spinoff have illustrated that there’s a definite market for this kind of interpretation. I also wanted to introduce a larger audience to Thorn and the Hex Girls who were first introduced in Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost and Red Herring, the bully from the criminally underrated A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.

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

Groovy murder

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

Chasing Amy.

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

About three months off and on.

7. How many stories have you written?

I couldn’t give you an exact number, but I’m always writing! I’d say I have a decent bushel.

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

I developed a deep fondness for “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” by Neil Young while I was writing this. I must have listened to it a hundred times.

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

My biggest problem in finishing any screenplay is figuring out what to do when I hit a roadblock. I get really excited about an idea and then I can’t figure out how to move forward. Part of this, is that I’ve never done well with outlines. However, I’m very lucky because I have people in my life who were willing to read this script multiple times and give me great notes. I would not have been able to finish this silly script without their constructive criticism and support.

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

I’m currently learning American Sign Language! It’s a really beautiful language and I think it’s fascinating that even though I’m from the country where it originated, I’ve rarely ever seen it since I’ve had little exposure to Deaf culture.

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

It’s been fantastic! I use FilmFreeway all the time because it’s so convenient.

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

Here’s the thing, while I was finishing my MFA last year, in a practice pitch session I blurted out something I never realized about myself – one of my wildest fantasies is being a writer on a Scooby-Doo project. I knew I had a Scooby-Doo story in me, but I didn’t want it just to sit on my computer and not go anywhere. When I came across this festival, I couldn’t have been more relieved that there were people out there that were actually interested in my insane, nerdy ramblings.

The feedback couldn’t have been nicer. I was directed gently away from my original idea of doing a 1960s period piece into something more modern and was given some truths about my tendency to overwrite. The script is all the better for it and I couldn’t be more grateful to the Fan Fiction Festival.

 

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Drama, Animation

A reinvention of the iconic television series. Think RIVERDALE.

CAST LIST:

Cass: Salma Dharsee
Velma: Courtney Keir
Daphne: Marissa Otto
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Shaggy: Hugh Ritchie
Fred: Isaiah Kolundzic
Officer Rogers: Allan Michael Brunet
Red: Zazu Oke

_____

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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