Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
Janet Caulfield: Lotus Operandi is about an Asian Amercan black belt, (Lilly), who goes undercover for the CIA to help track down terrorists. They reside in New York, and are part of an international group, of cyber criminals, arms dealers from Pakistan, and a weapons and explosives ring in China. The savvy
CIA Agents discover evidence that they are planning duo attacks on the subways in New York and London on the 4th of July.
The CIA agents convince Lilly, to help them. Meanwhile, Lilly auditions and gets a part in a broadway musical called “Starlight”. That’s where the story begins, but believe it or not, it’s really a love story.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Action, Thriller, Musical, Drama
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
Lotus Operandi should be made into a movie because I think it would appeal to fans of popular shows like Criminal Minds, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and especially the new FX “Fosse/Verdon” show.
Spanning five decades, “Fosse/Verdon” explores the romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. Bob Fosse in my opinion, was the best and most visionary filmmaker to combine music, dancing and theater’s most influential choreographers and directors. His films Cabaret and All That Jazz stand alone as extraordinary achievements. Bob Fosse is modeled after the character Richard in Lotus Operandi.
It’s such a coincidence, because I reference Bob Fosse in the screenplay which was written way before this show was created.
I think it would draw millennials because there are several scenes between the CIA agents, some comical, where they learn to respect each other and their different experiences in life. The screenplay is more than just a musical.
Like cabaret there’s a lot of action, twists and turns in the plot that would keep an audience interested.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
About five years. I’ve done several rewrites.
7. How many stories have you written?
I have written about a dozen screenplays. Seven are finished and copyrighted.
The others I’m still working on and collaborating with another writer for a TV MOW pilot.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Secret World by Peter Gabriel.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Music, art and sports.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
My experiences have all been very positive. Great feedback and response to my submissions.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I think what influenced me to enter the festival is the very creative and professional actors and posts produced by Wildsound and the LA FilmFreeway festival.
I’ve been following Wildsound, Matthew since I started writing which was about five years ago. The feedback was very helpful. Especially regarding the plot for Lotus Operandi..It’s all over the place, and needs to be more concise. My formatting and plot issues have greatly improved thanks to the feedback from Wildsound, for both Lotus Operandi and Curious Buddies a script I entered and won a couple of years ago. What is it Shakespeare said? ” Brevity is the soul of wit.”
I could definitely use more of that.
Watch the Screenplay Reading:
This one is pure fun! It’s a genre buster, James Bond meets
All That Jazz and Cabaret. Asian American black belt goes undercover
for the CIA to help track down terrorists. Oh, and did I mention she’s
the lead in a Broadway musical? This is very musical, but there’s a
lot of action.
Genre: Action, Thriller, Drama
The main characters reside in New York. They are part of an international terrorist group, which includes cyber terrorists and arms dealers from Pakistan, and a weapons and explosives ring in China. The savvy CIA Agents discover evidence that they are planning duo attacks on the subways in New York and London on the 4th of July. That’s where the story begins, but believe it or not, it’s really a love story
Jimmie: Diego O’Brien
Jason: Allan Brunet
Narrator: Elizabeth Morriss
Dick: Russell Batcher
Lilly: Jessica Bowmer