Interview with Screenwriter Paul Weidknecht (Paying the Night Differential)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Paul Weidknecht: The story is about two New York mobsters who have to deal with the ghost of an associate they’ve ‘taken care of’ who keeps showing up for work at a no-show job they created.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

A paranormal, dramedy.

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

Because everyone wants to know how the mob would handle a construction working ghost!

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

Creepily, funny.

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

It’s a toss-up between Braveheart and A Christmas Carol (1951 version with Alastair Sim).

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

The screenplay is based on a flash fiction piece by the same title (currently in the anthology, Untethered: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of the Paranormal, by the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC.). From idea to finished product, it probably took me a few hours to write.

7. How many stories have you written?

Dozens and dozens.

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

Photograph by Def Leppard (I’m a product of the ’80s, when the hair was loud and the music was louder).

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

Trying to make the two characters who are similar–as they have comparable backgrounds–not speak identically.

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

Anything to do with the outdoors, especially fly-fishing. Time in the woods, on a stream casting a fly to a trout, is always therapeutic. I also enjoy reaching out and helping people with needs; there is a great satisfaction in seeing people being blessed.

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

It has been very convenient, with everything right in front of you to keep track of projects and submissions. Organizing one’s work for submission is a necessary part of writing, but first and foremost, writers need to write.

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

The Festival’s commitment to short scripts and film was attractive, and at less than five minutes screen time, short scripts actually have a chance at being produced. Paying the Night Differential was one of several short scripts in this time range I had on hand that I thought might fit. The feedback was insightful and motivating.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Two New York gangsters find the no-show job they’ve created gives new meaning to the term ‘ghost worker’,


Narration – Danielle Nicole
Pasquale – Ted Power
Johnny – Brogan Caulfield



By matthewtoffolo

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

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