Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
Michael Preston: Spencer’s life is upended when he finds his longtime boyfriend cheating on him the day before his uncle dies. He makes the long journey from L.A back to his small southern town in Freeburg, Illinois where he hasn’t visited in years. Spencer’s life takes a strange turn when his uncle’s lawyer reveals he left a dilapidated gentleman’s club to him in his will. Spencer must decide to sell or the keep the club – a decision made simple when he meets his potential buyer Betty Lou Bryant, a nasty local ‘Christian woman’ who vents her disgust at Spencer and his sinful ways and plans to tear the sinful establishment down as soon as the deed is in her name.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
LGBTQ and Comedy
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
We have seen gay protagonists in many movies, however when it comes to TV series we see very few. Yes, we have Will and Grace and other shows that support the LGBTQ community, however, there are few TV series based on a single gay character. This teleplay focuses on the strength and power one person can have in a community no matter what their sexual orientation or ethnicity is.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
Unconventional and witty.
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
It’s a close race between between Home Alone and Steel Magnolias. Wide range if you ask me.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I took a train from LA to Monterey which takes over 8 hours. This was great because I was isolated without any distractions. I got the first half completed on the way there and finished the second half on the way back. Of course, rewrites were inevitable which took several months.
7. How many stories have you written?
This is my first script. I am currently working on my 2nd and 3rd scripts loosely based off of my life experiences.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Total gay cliche but that would be “Vogue” by Madonna. I was a young gay boy in a southern Illinois town with a full length mirror! What else was there to do but pretend to be Madonna?
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Being a first time writer I had to research how to actually write a screenplay. I read a few books, researched comedy TV pilots, sat down with writer friends and ultimately jumped in feet first.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Having a degree in both music and interior design makes anything that involves creativity a passion for me.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
It was easy to navigate and submit.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I wanted to test the waters and see if I could float in the writing pool. The feedback I received was excellent which helped me finesse certain scenes as well as strengthen specific characters.
A gay man’s decision to take on his uncle’s strip club in the small town that once rejected him while the town’s Christian matriarch tries to take him and his newly inherited business down.
Narrator: Esther Thibault
Spencer: : Isaiah Kolundzic
Randon Gay: Peter Mark Raphael