Interview with Screenwriter Michael De Sapio (Incredible Life of Joey Coletta)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Michael De Sapio: The Incredible Life of Joey Coletta is an homage to the classic family situation comedies of the 1950s and ’60s. It follows Joey, an average southern California kid, who auditions for a family sitcom on a whim and wins the lead role. We watch as Joey contends with the trials and tribulations of child stardom in the 1950s: temperamental directors, on-set schooling, and unscrupulous entertainment journalists, as well as his parents’ crumbling marriage.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama, Family, Comedy

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

Nobody to my knowledge has yet done a movie about a child actor in the 1950s. We need more movies that the entire family can enjoy yet offer intelligence and sophistication. Period scripts based in the mid-20th century are always in style and offer a visual feast with the clothes, cars and décor.

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

Funny, heartwarming

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

The 1947 Miracle on 34th Street, watched innumerable times over the Christmas holidays.

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

The initial version was finished in about 8 months, then I continued to refine it for another 6 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

I am mostly an essayist by trade, but I am working on a story which will become a new screenplay.

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

I am a classical music devotee, so switch “song” to “composition.” I would have to say the Bach partitas for solo violin.

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

Since it was my first screenplay, mastering the format was a challenge.

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

Music (I am a part-time violinist), visual art, and my faith.

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

Very positive. Film Freeway is a wonderful one-stop platform to upload your scripts and show them to the world.

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

I found out about the festival from researching on Film Freeway. I thought the initial feedback was encouraging and perceptive, and I very much appreciated it.

Joey Coletta is an ordinary kid in 1950s California whose life goes from drab to dramatic when he wins the lead role in a family situation comedy. But Joey’s fictional family life seems so much better than his real one, where he is the only child of separated parents. Can Joey reconcile his parents and recreate a sense of community? Can a nine-year-old survive in the fast-paced world of Hollywood?


Charles – Russell Batcher
Narration – Luke Robinson
Betty – Pip Dwyer
Joey – Alex Clay

Submit via FilmFreeway:


By matthewtoffolo

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

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