Interview with Winning Screenwriter Leah Pollack (MARKED)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Leah Pollack: It is about a naive and ambitious young man named David Kessler who is traveling to the new West in search of supernatural things, in Texas he meets a mysterious and extraordinary girl named Winnona Argento and end up working together to foil a train station heist. They then come face to face with Federal Marshal Travis Crabtree who knows more about Winnona then he lets on. Crabtree forces them to come back to headquarters via train where secrets are revealed and a bad situation suddenly gets worse.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would say it is a supernatural western, or perhaps it is a horror-adventure series in the same vain of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Xfiles but set in the old West.

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

I think that this kind of story has familiar enough story beats and tropes to not alienate mainstream audiences, but has enough of a unique edge and spin that it will also feel fresh. I think once it has gone through a bit more polishing it could be a fun yet endearing project.

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

I don’t really have an answer for this one haha….

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

That’s a hard one…. I’d say it’s either Jurassic Park, Homeward Bound The Incredible Journey, The Little Mermaid, and The King and I.

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

4 or so years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve been making and writing stories for as long as I can remember, but I’ve had published writings as far back as 2010.

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

It’s a 3 way tie between “Helena” by My Chemical Romance, “A Little Less 16 Candles, A Little More Touch Me” by Fallout Boy, and “Could Have Been Me” by the Struts

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

Finding a good stopping point, making sure continuity was sound, trying to balance visuals and dialogue, or even thinking of dialogue in general.

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

Dancing, especially Argentine Tango

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

It’s been super easy and convenient. It’s the only platform I have ever used to submit to festivals and I have never had any problems so far.

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

I wanted to enter my script into festivals that offered a feedback option because I felt I was in a good place, but I felt it still needed polishing. I certainly didn’t expect to not only be selected but be a winning Screenplay either! The feedback I received was very helpful and I am applying the notes I was given to my newer drafts. I am very happy I submitted to this festival and I will do so again with any new scripts/screenplays in the future. 

Watch Screenplay Reading: 

A mysterious outlaw called the “Wolf of the West” has been wreaking havoc upon settlers in the budding frontier. David Kessler, an aspiring paranormal scientist believes the Wolf is supernatural and journeys out West to prove it and to document any other strange phenomena he sees. Along the way he joins forces with Winnona Argento, a young woman who is more than she seems and Federal Marshal Travis Crabtree, a hardened but honorable lawman. Together they travel the West and face against myths, legends, and monsters as well as outlaws and bandits while at the same time learning to find the balance between pacifism and survival in this harsh terrain and time period.


Ticket Man:  Geoff Mays
 Russell Batcher
Kat Smiley
Tiffany Davidson
Bryan Kling
Katelyn Vanier



By matthewtoffolo

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

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