Interview with Screenwriter Michael Meade (FIELDS OF BLOOD)

Winner of best First Scene Screenplay at the July 2018 Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Michael Meade: “Fields of Blood” is about Scott, a getaway driver on the run, who finds himself in an isolated rural community that holds a deadly secret. Shortly after arriving in town he meets Nicki, a reporter investigating the strange disappearances of several young women in the area. Later, when Nicki ends up missing too, Scott begins an investigation of his own in an effort to find her. That’s when things really start to get strange.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s mainly a thriller up until the end, then things get a little more horrific.

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

I think this screenplay should be made into a movie because I worked hard to create an eerie sense of atmosphere throughout the script, all of the characters are well developed, and the tension gradually builds up to the intense climax. It could be a great short film as is, or be expanded into an equally great feature film in my opinion.

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

Impending doom.

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

That’s really a hard one… I think I’d probably have to say “Return of the Jedi”. That was the first “Star Wars” film I was old enough to see when it came out in theaters and it was always my favorite when I was a kid. The scene where Luke removes Vader’s mask always stuck with me too and could be part of the reason why I got into horror later on, just had to see what was “behind the mask”.

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

I originally wrote this script for a screenwriting class I took about four years ago. It was basically meant to be the first act of a feature length script, but after the class was over I put it away for a year or so and didn’t think about it again until after I graduated. And even then I didn’t come back to it right away, but after I completed my first feature script I decided “Fields of Blood” could make a pretty good short with just a few modifications. So, after a little tweaking and with the addition of a new ending it became the script it is today.

7. How many stories have you written?

I used to write a lot of stories when I was a kid, but looking back I can’t remember actually finishing any of them. I’ve written a handful of short stories as an adult, but now I just focus on screenwriting. So as far as scripts go, I’ve written seven shorts, three features, and am currently writing my first documentary.

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

I think my all time favorite is “Fade to Black” by Metallica, but recently I’ve been listening to “No Quarter” by Led Zeppelin a lot. The documentary I’m working on deals with pirates and ghost ships, so it kind of fits right in with that theme.

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

The biggest obstacle for me when I first started writing this screenplay was not having screenwriting software. “Fields of Blood” was the first thing I had ever attempted to write in screenplay format and at the time all I had was Microsoft Word. I think I spent at least as much time trying to format it properly as I did actually coming up with the story. I felt like I was wasting a lot of time, so when I took my second screenwriting class the following term I decided to use my student discount and purchase Final Draft 9 and wow, what a difference that made. I’ve been using Final Draft ever since.

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

I’ve been into martial arts since I was ten years old, so that’s the biggest thing for me. I also like spending time outdoors camping or taking my Jeep off-road. And I just picked up a decent starter camera and some editing software recently, so getting my feet wet on the production side of things has been fun. I feel like it’s really opened up the possibilities of what I can do creatively.

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

When I first started submitting my work to festivals and contests I used to email each one individually and that was a real pain. I decided to start using FilmFreeway and another submission platform, but I soon realized FilmFreeway was the most user friendly. Now I only use FilmFreeway because in my opinion they are the best.

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

I think my main reason for entering the festival this time was because of the great experiences I’ve had with it in the past. Great feedback, great communication, and just an all around unique experience. I really can’t think of another festival quite like this one.

 

Genre: Thriller, Horror

Passing through a small Mid-West town and lending a helping hand to a stranger soon turns into a nightmare for Scott in this tense, paranoid horror thriller. A short screenplay by Mike Meade.

CAST LIST:

Earl: Scott McCulloch
Trucker: Danilo Reyes
Nicki: Tayna Bevan
Narrator: Kate Fenton
Bobby Jean: Julie C. Sheppard
Courtney: Samantha Carly
Scott: 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 http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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