Interview with Screenwriter Alan Harrington (THE EVENING)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Alan Harrington: It’s about a crime boss, Frank Costello, who has changed nothing since his father passed away some years ago. He still drives his dad’s old Buick, lives in the family home, and lets things “run themselves.” When his dog is killed by a passing motorist who comes back to try to get money from him, he realizes that he is not taken seriously anymore and he has to do something to regain some credibility.

An apparently psychotic, but driven and intelligent, newly-graduated image consultant is suggested by one of Frank’s disgruntled employees—in hopes of ruining Frank. Susan is motivated to prove herself, however, and takes her challenge of reinventing the Costello brand very seriously, resulting in several casual murders. Her intelligence and composure under pressure allow them to avoid getting caught while letting the community know that the Costello name is to be feared once more.

The emphasis is upon the working relationship of the innocent-looking “image consultant” and the aged crime boss.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Crime, dark comedy, dramedy.

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

It’s a twist on the usual scary crime boss flick, portraying an amusing intergenerational and starkly professional working relationship.

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

Discomfiting comedy.

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

Kids movies aside, Moon Over Parador. (I know, not the best movie ever made—but so funny in places and great “acting within a role” moments.)

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

Three years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Three full-length screenplays, a TV pilot, and a short (26 pager).

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

“Yellow” by Coldplay

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

For some reason some readers thought there was a romantic connection between Susan and Frank, which seems absurd given the scenes and their actions, so it was a challenge to try to ensure there is no confusion about what is a peculiar but completely professional relationship.

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


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

It’s a great platform—nothing but good experiences.

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

I really like the idea of the readings and that attracted me to your festival; it’s very helpful to hear the dialogue spoken.

I thought the feedback was fair and on target and it will help me with my next draft.


Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Frank hire’s a connected and motivated image consultant to revive his crime family’s fear factor.


Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Cameron: Joseph Ferrari
Johnny: Shawn Devlin
Frank: Sheldon Graham

By matthewtoffolo

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

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