Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
. My script is about a Creole-American woman and a Japanese-American man who move to California together to escape their pasts in Lousiana. But when their house gets invaded by a gang of extremists, they must hide in their haunted basement, which taunts them with their traumatic pasts.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
The genre that my script falls under is horror, psychological thriller, and drama.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
This screenplay should be made into a movie because it displays the experiences of people who are undervalued by Hollywood. With a black female lead and an Asian male lead, both who suffer from mental illness, displaying these elements on screen could humanize and normalize people of these ethnicities and people who are challenged with these mental illnesses. I also believe that when hate crime and rape is displayed on the movie screen, it is of course seen as sad and depressing event that doesn’t strengthen the character. However, as a victim of both, and as the writer of a film that includes these events, audiences need to know how terrifying hate crime and rape could be and how the victims of these attacks are strong in dealing with them, not pathetic. Especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
Dark & tragic.
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
I’ve probably seen Forrest Gump & Shawshank Redemption the most times. I don’t know how many to be honest, but I’ve memorized all the lines for both!
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I am in my freshman year of college. So, I would say that I thought of the idea in sophomore year of high school and started writing at the end of junior year and finished in my second semester of senior year.
7. How many stories have you written?
I have written about five stories, but I often procrastinate so this is the first script that I fully finished.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)
September by Earth, Wind, and Fire. That song is my childhood, and it always makes me happy when I listen to it.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Most of the script takes place in one setting (which is the cellar). So I struggled in figuring out rising actions that could progress the story.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I want to be an actress and director above anything else. I wish to act in and direct Monochrome as well when it gets picked up. I am also passionate about promoting diversity in Hollywood without forcing it. It’s essential that everyone feels represented, but I wouldn’t want to put a POC in a film just for diversity points. I want to tell their whole story as well. If I make a movie with someone of Cherokee descent, I want to display their beautiful culture as well (which will be anchored by vast amounts of research).
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your
experiences working with the submission platform site?
I found FilmFreeway to be a helpful and straightforward website to submit my script.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings
on the initial feedback you received?
The feedback that I received was very constructive, and I was able to apply it to my script. It also helped me in how I would direct Monochrome.
Refugees of racial violence in the 70s, an interracial couple finds themselves stuck in their haunted basement when a gang of anti-war extremists invades their new California home.
Female Detective: Mandy May Cheetham
Male Detective: Adrian Currie
Narrator: Liam Kinahan
Jennifer: Anjelica Alejandro
Police Officer: John Leung