Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
Andrew Fisk: “Geeks” is a David versus Goliath story that takes place in the Silicon Valley. When a corporate buyout takes place, the employees of the company that was taken over are all laid off and their products are stolen.
A group of five laid-off employees band together to start their own company and create a fantastic virtual reality chamber. The president of the mega-corporation that nearly ruined their lives sees them as a threat and results to a number of underhanded, humiliating and illegal tactics to stop them.
Their ability to fight back and triumph over the larger corporation is the core of this story. The title is “Geeks: A Love Story” because the conflict brings people together to form relationships who might not have met without it. They succeed by teamwork, friendship and sacrifice.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Comedy, romantic comedy and even science fiction. The final battle between the five entrepreneurs and the mega-corporation takes place in a virtual reality environment similar to the battles in “The Matrix.” I see this story as a metaphor for corporate warfare and the survival of the individual.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
The characters are interesting and varied. The original five rebels against the mega-corporation include Shannon Blake, a punk rocker/programmer, and India Moonpeace, a counterculture/new age personality in her seventies. Todd Bergstrom, the inventor of the virtual reality chamber, is forced to come out of his emotional bubble and become a leader.
The CEO of the mega-corporation, Geoffrey Sterling, is a composite of the stereotypical narcissistic, scheming Silicon Valley executives.
The special effects possibilities for this movie are huge. The virtual reality chamber can create entire 3D worlds that people can journey into. Do you want to explore the Amazon jungle? No problem. Go surfing on hundred foot waves? Got you covered.
I think this movie offers a realistic view of corporate life as well. Despite the glossy overhyped picture that some large companies like to present, a lot of them really are horrible places to work. The five rebels are told again and again by their CEOs that everything about their company is wonderful. They walk in the next morning and find out they do not have jobs and the company is closing down. This has happened to me and I want to portray this experience on the big screen.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Probably Blade Runner (the original). Followed by Forrest Gump, Dr. Strangelove, Aliens and To Live and Die in L.A.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
It only seems like forever. I wrote the first draft a few years ago. The version that exists today is very different from the original. The characters are the same but the way the story is presented has changed.
7. How many stories have you written?
I have written five feature length screenplays, a thirteen-episode science fiction limited series and nine short scripts ranging from five minutes to thirty minutes.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
“Rainy Night in Georgia” sung by Brook Benton, written by Tony Joe White.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Mainly, it was my fear of rewriting and rewriting until the story was just the way it should be. Someone said that art is never really finished…at some point it is abandoned. Even after a number of rewrites it just didn’t have the right vibe. I worried that it never would and at some point I would have to abandon it. But now I am completely happy with the latest version.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Being outdoors. Hiking, ocean kayaking, exploring new territory and college football.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I find that Film Freeway is complicated and exasperating to work with. Several times I have decided not to enter a screenplay contest because I know I will have to go through the Film Freeway maze again.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
WILDsound did a reading of another feature length screenplay of mine, as well as some other creative works. So this was certainly an incentive. The feedback I received for “Geeks” was incredibly helpful. It let me see the screenplay in a way I had not seen before and got my brain moving in a new direction. I got rid of all the scenes that were slowing the story down and streamlined it. This screenplay is so much better now than it was a few months ago.
Watch the Screenplay Reading:
SHANNON – 3 – ETHEL ABRAY
NARRATION – TED POWERS
TODD – 11 – DANIEL JONES
CD NARRATOR – 8 – OLIVIA BARRETT