Interview with Screenwriter James Hughes (THE HITLER PARADOX)

Winner of BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY at the July 2018 Screenplay Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

James Hughes: Simply put, Two time travelers, from different origins, find themselves in conflict as they debate how to handle bringing Hitler to justice. The idea of going back to “deal” with Hitler is not a new one, in fact, it is often a question of morality as to when you should if you could. So this common goal brings the two travelers into contact and conflict with one another. Each having very different means to an “end” for him, with one wanting Hitler to stand trial and the other wanting to personally execute him.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy, Sci-fi

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

It’s a longshot, but if it were to be made into a movie, I believe it would be because of the opportunities it holds within it. The opportunity to watch talented actors bring the characters and their far-fetched debate to life, the opportunity to design an authentic look and feel to the world around them, and the opportunity to have fun while doing what you love, making films.

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

Outlandish Squabble

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

I watch a lot of movies, I must say, but if I have to narrow it down to one particular film I’ve happily watched, again and again, it would be “The Jerk” with Steve Martin. Made six years before I was even born, I remember watching it with my parents growing up, so a combination of nostalgia and a comfort in comedy have made it one of my favorite films.

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

I first had the idea in late 2016, but like most of my work, it had to bounce around in my head for awhile. I started writing it in April 2017 and finished the final draft in October 2017, so around 7 months, but most of that time is spent waiting for the next bit of dialog, description, or direction to smack me in the face while I worked on other projects.

7. How many stories have you written?

Quite a few actually, a dozen different short films, some original comic book scripts, a web series script(6 episodes currently), and I have recently started working on my first feature script.

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

My favorite song is always changing, especially since I find so much character and story inspirations from listening to music. Currently, I’d have to say my favorite song is “Content” by Joywave, but if you ask me again in a few months, it will most certainly be different.

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

My biggest obstacle has always been myself, can I stay motivated, focused, can I fight the thought of this project “Just doesn’t work”? Am I wasting my time? Shouldn’t I work on something more feasible? My inner monologue has always been my biggest critic, but as long as I can answer the questions, I move forward.

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

Aside from writing, my passions include raising my son, performing comedy(Stand up and Improv), and drawing(shameless Instagram plug, @Gohztilla).

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

I have used a few different submission platforms and I have to say, FilmFreeway is my absolute favorite, clean and clear UI, with any and all information and links easily available to me.

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

I wanted to enter this festival mainly due to the emphasize on the written word, so much so that you would do a table read for the winner. The feedback was great and thorough, but the best moment for me was watching the reading, to see the actor(s) snicker or hold in a laugh at something I’ve written just makes me feel great. A small(.01%) of the feeling I want when everything about this project is said and done.



Genre: Sci-Fi, Comedy

Two time travelers find themselves in conflict as they aim to bring Hitler to justice, although in vastly different ways.


Eva: Tayna Bevan
Hitler: Scott McCulloch
Narrator: Kate Fenton
Tiom: Danilo Reyes
Jonny: Michael Lake


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 for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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