Interview with Screenwriter Zach Paul Brown (CAIROS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Zach Paul Brown: Cairos focuses on physicist Lee, and the solitary life she leads after the death of her wife. When a rogue planet brushes past the solar system, Lee somehow comes face to face with the woman she thought she would never see again, but must also deal with the emotions, questions, and doubts that resurface along with her past love.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-fi Drama

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

I think Cairos should be made into a movie because I feel like people still aren’t seeing the diversity that the genre of Sci-Fi can support. It’s such an epic genre with so many opportunities and avenue for questions and discussion and I think our piece goes down a few of the roads in a new, more diverse fashion. At the same time though our piece isn’t too heady. We take the large and go small with it, focusing on two people and their relationship, something that is palatable and an easy entry point for anyone.

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

Dreamy and Bittersweet

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

I think I’ve watched Chicago, the Rob Marshall version, close to twenty times, which is weird because I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of musicals. I think it has to do with how naughty every character is in their own way. And before that film I hadn’t really seen any story like that. I just love it!

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

I started Cairos over the Spring, back in May I believe. I’m new at this and trying to build my portfolio and I had never written anything in the genre before. I’m still retooling and rewriting it so about 8 months or so now.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 3 shorts, 3 features, 2 pilots, and a webseries. I’m working on an additional 3 features at the moment as well. I like to stay busy!

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

Midnight City by M83.

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

Getting the scientific terms out in a way that wasn’t trying to be too astute. I realized eventually though that since the science in the story apart from a few facts is completely made up and that I didn’t have to sweat it to much I just had to write the relationship. I’m cutting back on the jargon even more in the rewrite I’m doing now too. I love a good slash and burn!

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

Apart from writing I love painting. I never go in with a plan though, it’s just pure relaxation for me. Hiking and nutrition are very important to me as well. So is going out on the town. I was really introverted for a long time and I didn’t realize how important social interaction was and how much I needed and enjoyed it. So I definitely try to get a tequila in with friends once or twice every few weeks.

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

Film Freeway was so simple to use. The interface, the set up of it all is wonderful. I had no idea there were so many film festivals all over the world and the fact that they are connected to all of them is really astounding. It’s my new favorite tool and I can’t wait to use it more as I continue to beef up my portfolio.

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

You guys were actually the first festival that I ever submitted too. I’ve been writing for about two years now and I only recently got to a point where I felt comfortable sending out my stuff for feedback. I wanted to send it to a festival that also catered to LGBT content as well because I love specificity and I believe that if it’s an LGBT story it deserves to be seen and critiqued by that audience. The feedback has been great as well. The taped reading was so great! So incredibly helpful to hear things out loud!

Watch the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

During a rare celestial event, two women reunite.


Student (f) – 3 – KATELYN VARAD
Lee (F, 29 black) – KYANA TERESA
Zach (20s Caucasian) – NICK DOLAN

Submit exclusively via FilmFreeway:

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