Interview with Screenwriter Elizabeth Shum (THE GOLDBERGS TV Spec Screenplay)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Spec screenplay of THE GOLDBERGS TV Show about?

Elizabeth Shum: Beverly uses a Caboodle to transform Barry into “Bowie”, who sings-off against Erica to win Lainey’s extra Guns N’ Roses ticket – becoming “The Labyrinth” muse Adam needs to remove his writer’s block.

2. How does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

It’s a comedy that hits all the familiar notes of the show like family comedy, emotional moments, hilarious archetypes, and the 80s era so many of us love.

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

Nostalgic comedy.

4. What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

Game of Thrones is one of my favorite shows. It would have been easier to pick my top ten favorites because I watch far too much television.

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

It took me one week to write the spec.

6. How many stories have you written?

Eight, but I have a list of plots and outlines as long as my arm. I have so many ideas that it’s hard to choose which one to write next.

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

)I don’t have a favorite. I probably listen to theme songs or musical scores than anything else because I watch so much Film and TV.

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

None. I had to write it quickly for a deadline, but it came pretty easily to me because I’ve seen several funny but heartwarming Goldberg episodes.

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

Food, producing, art, and traveling.

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

I’m happy to have been chosen as one of the winners. The table read is such an outstanding prize because it allows us a peek into what it would be like if someone made the show. Personally, I care more about seeing my stories come to life on screen than I do about anything else.

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

I love FilmFreeway because it’s so easy to send your work out and track upcoming festivals. It’s like Project Management for screenwriting festivals.

12. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Submit to festivals and get as much feedback as you can. Then rewrite, rinse, and repeat. The rewrite is key for most scripts, although, it does depend on the genre and length. I found it much easier to write a spec than a pilot because you don’t have to create the world and find a way to introduce the characters. That’s why my spec only took a week. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer writing pilots, but they do require more rewrites than spec scripts. Having a show bible really helps me to develop my characters on a deeper level prior to writing pilots.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Beverly uses a Caboodle to glamourize Barry into “Bowie”, who sings against Erica to win Lainey’s extra Guns N’ Roses ticket – becoming “The Labyrinth” muse Adam needs to remove his writer’s block.


Murray – 22 – PETER NELSON
Beverly – 70 – PAOLA SCATTOLON
Narration – Sean Ballantyne
Barry – 64 – NICK DOLAN
Lainey – 32 – KYANA TERESA

Submit your TV Show/Pilot via FilmFreeway:



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