Interview with Screenwriter ML De La Garza (Indigenous)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

ML De La Garza: A worldwide invasion by indigenous lifeforms from the deep waters of Earth. Based on the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (AAH), the invaders seek the extinction of man forcing humans to search for a safe route through the city of Corpus Christi, Texas while learning new rules for survival of the fittest.

Structured with five acts & a teaser, the serialized family drama pilot Indigenous is a mixture of action-adventure, romance, and science fiction. The springboards rely on the conflicts between characters instead of outside provocations.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action/Science Fiction

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

Indigenous is a modern invasion story that combines the search for humanity (as seen in the Walking Dead) with the action/adventure feel of what it means to fight for survival in a hostel world (akin to The Planet of the Apes).

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

Indigenous Invasion

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


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

I wrote the original script as my thesis project, which took two months, and I fine-tuned it over the course of six months, thereafter.

7. How many stories have you written?

To date I’ve written more than twenty novels/novellas under an array of pen names and over five scripts.

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

Favorite instrumental, hands down, is Music of the Night, and my favorite vocal of all time is I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.

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

When writing the original version of Indigenous, I had sixteen weeks to draft the treatment, write the bible concept, and turn out the pilot and second episode during my MFA Thesis I and Thesis II class. New to scriptwriting, I had to learn the formatting process for series, which required a lot of assigned reading by my MFA Thesis mentor, Michael Zimmer–who provided a wealth of knowledge, information, and guidance along the way.

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

My family. They inspire me to continuously grown my craft.

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

The FilmFreeway platform provides a user-friendly website for the submission process and I’ve had positive encounters, thus far.

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

The Female Film Festival promotes women writers, which I found empowering, and the initial feedback provided positive insight and suggestions to strengthen the submitted piece, which in turn, enhanced my writing craft.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 


Wounded Officer – 1 – STEPHEN SANDQUIST
Stacey Ward – 4 – JESSICA BOWMER
Leah Santos – 10 – KAT SMILEY
Balthazar – 1 –STEVE SWITZMAN


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