July 2018 LGBT Feature Screenplay Winner
Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
Vance Walker: It’s about a go-go boy in 1990 and his co-workers living a fun, raunchy life— colorful and sexy, kind of like a gay Flashdance, until AIDS starts hitting close to home.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Hard to say since there is a lot of music and dancing, but it is not a musical in the purist sense of the word. Is there a Comedy/Drama/Romance/LGBT/AIDS genre? If pressed, I would have to say Drama/Romance.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
When I see something like “POSE” or Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, I am so happy and grateful for the documentation of these past times, which tell our stories and hardships and histories and how far we have come— and poignantly tell these stories with such beauty, honesty and creativity. I would love it if go-go boy could also be that kind of entertaining historical perspective.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Probably The Way We Were. When we first got a video player, we only had a few movies, and I watched that over and over and over.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I started it in 1990, when it is set. A friend of mine, a literary agent, read it and loved it, but said he nor his agency would touch it with a ten-foot pole. Too gay. Too niche. Before I knew it, the news about AIDS meds, cocktails, and advancement made my story seem dated. Last year I picked it up and thought enough time had gone by, and the advancements in AIDS treatment and prevention has been so drastic, not to mention gay rights— it’s not dated anymore— it’s more of a historical period piece. I always loved these characters and the story, so I dove in and did some major re-writing.
7. How many stories have you written?
Twenty? Thirty? I don’t know.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Well, since I played by the rules on “What movie have you seen the most times in your life?” listing only one, and not the other possibilities (Apartment Zero, Funny Girl, Postcards From the Edge, A Star Is Born, or Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), I’ll list three. I used to always say, “Watch Closely Now / With One More Look At You,” the Finale from A Star Is Born, but now I would say (almost everything by Melissa Etheridge, Cyndi Lauper and Bette Midler notwithstanding): “And So It Goes,” “Kissing A Fool,” and “If You Go Away.”
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Having (some of) the characters be cliché and talk in clichés, without the script seeming cliché.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
My kids. Health.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
My friend, Bobb, and I were helping each other with our scripts, and he had submitted his to a festival or two—I don’t think I knew festivals even had screenwriting competitions—and it got me thinking: it would be nice to get my work out there, see if anyone likes it… see if anyone out there “gets” me, my sense of humor, etc.
The details of the initial feedback was surprising— I wasn’t expecting it to be so thorough and thoughtful. It was very helpful. They gave me time to apply the feedback if I wanted to, before the reading, which was nice. They did a synopsis, which was really cool and helpful: seeing how someone else interprets things differently than written, or expected was interesting and helpful.
Genre: Drama, Romance
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.